PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Carun Pharmacy in the Grand Panama shopping center in Panama City Beach is not open yet, but its signage has some already wondering what they’ll find inside on opening day.
“I didn’t really have a reaction I was like just, it was more interest,” Gail Scullion, a Panama City Beach local, said. “So it wasn’t a reaction, it was more like, ‘Oh I’m interested in this.'”
People are peering in, taking selfies, and asking questions. Even the cops have stopped by to check it out. That’s because the store in the works sports the iconic pot leaf in its advertising.
“They wanna know, they’re curious, so we tell them the truth,” Store Manager Patrik Bortl said.
The images suggest one thing, but Bortl said, it’s not what you may think.
“It’s legal,” he said, chuckling. “It’s legal like anything else.”
Bortl is opening what he said is the first of its kind in North America, a store dedicated to hemp-based products.
“Oil, cooking oil and they have a syrup, we have like a pasta, hemp seeds,” he said. “We can make it on salads.”
Despite the pot leaf insignia, Bortl said the substances used in the Carun Pharmacy products come from a different form of the cannabis plant than what is usually used to smoke marijuana. He said hemp is referred to as the “industrial” plant.
Bortl said it’s compressed to an oil and infused with CO2, reducing its THC content.
The Czech Republic native is bringing the Czech-based company to his home here in Panama City Beach, importing them from Europe. He said his friend founded the company.
But he hopes to spread it throughout the United States.
“We specialize in daily base, for every person so they have everything they need and it’s really pure and clean for the body,” he said.
“My skin has allergies and sensitivity,” Scullion said. “So it would be lovely to find something that would work well for me.”
Bortl said the goal is getting people to live a healthier lifestyle.
“If you don’t want to purchase our products we just want to show you and give you the knowledge of what’s there.”
He said he owns a construction company on 30A so he has been doing most of the work for the store himself.
Bortl said he is waiting on his products to arrive while he finishes the construction. They expect to open by the end of July or the start of August.