BY DEAN MOSES
Nestled amongst a bustling shopping district in Forest Hills, Curaleaf, a medical cannabis dispensary, debuted its latest product on Feb. 21 in hopes of offering Queens residents a more manageable and therapeutic prescription option.
Lemon-flavored CuraChews are an edible designed to alleviate pain and discomfort while also being effortless to digest.
“This is the first chewable gel in New York state,” said onsite pharmacist Dr. Stacia Woodcock. “We are really excited about these [chewable gels] from an accessibility standpoint. The majority of our patients are baby boomers, some of whom are not familiar with inhaled dosage forms or tinctures. We also have patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, things like that and they don’t have the motor coordination to use a dropper or a vape pen. So, this is something that they can chew and swallow easily.”
This new medication joins a laundry list of other products available at Curaleaf — located at 107-18 70th Rd. — including the likes of mints, lozenges, vaping pens, topical lotions and more. Yet it is the CuraChews that’s sparking intrigue from patients, an intrigue which was on full display as numerous customers flocked to the dispensary thanks to promises of comfortable consumption.
“The chewables fit my routine better. It can take a while to work, so I can plan my day around that and just have an overall better experience. I have trouble sleeping and I experience chronic pain in my feet — it’s a perfect two birds one stone scenario,” said William Acosta, a 22-year-old patient.
In addition to physical aches and pains, psychological issues such as PTSD and anxiety are also aided by the drug, according to longtime patient 49-year-old Jolyn Kitzer. Due to severe kidney issues, Kitzer’s body is unable to handle most traditional prescriptions, making it difficult to treat her mental health.
“I’ve been wanting to try the chewables because I have trouble with vapes; it’s too much like smoking and I can’t do that,” Kitzer said. My doctors approved me taking this because it’s not as dangerous. I find this treatment much better than having to take all of those drugs. I prefer it. It’s very helpful for nightmares and anxiety, and I have been feeling better.”
Customers of Curaleaf require a prescription in order to purchase medication and must present a New York state certified medical marijuana card in the foyer to be granted store access.
Curaleaf’s Forest Hills location is one of four dispensaries the company operates in New York. The other locations are in Carle Place, Newburgh, and Plattsburgh. The Newburgh location was the company’s first in the state, when it launched in March 2018.