The franchisee of Mississippi’s first Far & Dotter cannabis-based health and wellness retail location in Olive Branch stepped away from a corporate career with Google, FedEx, and Boeing because of a passion to share the benefits of the products.
“Wellness is something that I have been very interested in, especially since the (COVID) pandemic,” said Sederia Gray. “I haven’t used pharmaceutical medicines since 2016. I really focus on the health and wellness life where I use holistic care. I wanted to bring this to Olive Branch for that reason.”
A Starkville native, Gray at one time was an award-winning member of the communications team for Google and was also a Communications Advisor for Global Media Relations with FedEx. But Gray is now the owner and operator of the newest franchise for the retailer making its first steps outside of its Maryland home. The company also has plans to expand into New Jersey and Missouri.
Mississippi’s move in 2022 to allow medical cannabis to be legally sold and used has shown great promise as a market for sales and consumption of the products.
The state’s medical cannabis sales increased for at least six consecutive months following the commencement of sales in January 2023. Concurrently, the number of registered medical patients increased by 950 percent from January 2023 through October 2023. Projections place the value of Mississippi’s medical market at $800 million by 2027.
The parent company of Far & Dotter, Curio Wellness, is a cGMP-certified, vertically integrated cannabis company and market-leading innovator of health and wellness products. The Olive Branch retail dispensary is located at 8101 Hacks Cross Road, where a grand opening and Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting was held on Thursday, Jan. 4.
“Stepping out of the corporate world and doing something retail is something I have never done before,” Gray said. “But I felt like it was something where I could really make an impact on my community by showing the benefits of living a more holistic life.”
Far & Dotter offers premium plant-based medicine and remedies to patients throughout their wellness journeys. Patients can explore Far & Dotter Olive Branch’s wide selection of medicinal cannabis products. Each member of Far & Dotter Olive Branch’s community-based team is equipped to aid patients with well-researched advice tailored to each patient’s unique needs.
“We’re a medicinal products company, we’re not a cannabis company,” said MIchael Bronfein, CEO of Curio Wellness, who was on hand for the grand opening. “We’re leading the pursuit of wellness, creating safe, effective and reliable products that are derived from cannabis. What we are trying to do is get people to realize that they can use cannabis more effectively when they get in a form where its delivery system is optimal.”
Far & Dotter considers itself as a holistic pharmacy and wellness hub devoted to empowering local entrepreneurs and providing safe, effective, reliable products and services that enhance quality of life.
“We can sell topicals and Mississippi is the only state that does that, to be able to sell THC topicals to people that don’t have a medical card,” Gray said. “So we see that as a huge opportunity to sell that to patients.”
Bronfein said Gray became the perfect person to lead Far & Dotter’s first move outside its home base of Maryland.
“She’s very smart, she has a very clear vision of what she wants to do with her life and how she wants to do it, and I felt she has the entrepreneurial spirit that you need to have to be a retailer,” Bronfein said. “It was clear to me that she had all of the necessary personal characteristics and a real burning in her belly to be successful as an entrepreneur and she was passionate about cannabis as medicine.”
Gray added that Olive Branch became the right spot for her Far & Dotter franchise by its location and the response she received when doing her research.
“The community has been so welcoming to Far & Dotter, so that was extremely important to me when I was looking at different places,” Gray noted. “I was looking at population size, the health of the community, the potential customers and patients that we will have. Olive Branch really stood out to me because of all of the things they had going for it. I think it’s going to be a great place to work and a great place to do business.”
Gray is the first Far & Dotter franchisee, backed by the Curio Investment Fund. The independently managed Curio Wellness Investment Fund, called The Fund, was founded with the goal of providing start-up capital for business owners to open their own franchise locations.
You can learn more about Far & Dotter by visiting its website.