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Security firm lays off 289 guards at Florida dispensaries, 64 in Tampa Bay

The Jacksonville company supplied armed security at 106 Trulieve medical marijuana shops around the state.
Jacksonville's First Coast Security, which provides armed security guards at dispensaries owned by Trulieve, the company behind Florida's first legal marijuana crops, has announced it will lay off 289 workers statewide, including 64 in Tampa Bay, as Trulieve switches to another company for security services.
Jacksonville's First Coast Security, which provides armed security guards at dispensaries owned by Trulieve, the company behind Florida's first legal marijuana crops, has announced it will lay off 289 workers statewide, including 64 in Tampa Bay, as Trulieve switches to another company for security services.
Published Oct. 3|Updated Oct. 5

Click here to read this story in Spanish

A Jacksonville company that provides armed security at more than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida is laying off hundreds of guards and other workers, including 64 in Tampa Bay.

First Coast Security said in a letter to the state that its contract with Trulieve Medical Services was not renewed, as the company decided to go in another direction for security services. As a result, First Coast cut 289 jobs at 106 dispensaries — including 25 in Tampa Bay.

At least 64 employees, mostly guards, were affected in the Tampa Bay area, including 14 at four shops in the Clearwater area and 11 at three shops in Tampa. Another 20 or so worked at dispensaries in areas hard-hit by Hurricane Ian, such as Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Port Charlotte.

First Coast told the state it “has placed as many employees as possible at other locations” and would be working with local security companies to relocate its affected workers into new jobs.

Related: Florida company Trulieve now nation's largest marijuana retailer

This was First Coast Security’s second mass layoff this year. This summer, the company said it planned to cut 90 jobs by September after losing a contract with the Jacksonville Electric Authority. Most of those employees, the firm said, would join the agency’s new security provider, and were not expected to see a gap in employment.

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