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Image by Rick Proctor

About Us

Image by 2H Media
Image by 2H Media

The Bear

Hi there!  

     I’m David, but my friends call me Bear.  I’m a lifelong cannabis enthusiast that has been smoking and selling pot since 1993.  What started out as a social thing as a teenager, had evolved into a medical necessity towards the beginning of my 30’s.  I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis and IBS, and after a few small battles, I was hit with a pretty severe attack. My intestines had been totally blocked up for days and ultimately exploded, spewing days of toxic waste throughout my body. I was going septic and needed emergency surgery to save my life.  This ordeal left me with multiple surgeries, a colostomy bag for 3 months, a total of 7 months in the hospital (on and off), and almost $1M in hospital bills. Plus some permanent scarring and numbness with a muscle that pops out for extra measure. 


     My intestinal conditions made me sick often.  I missed a fair amount of work.  Once medical marijuana was adopted in Florida and extracts were readily available, I saw MAJOR improvements with my condition.  The doctor’s answers were always pain pills.  As someone who isn’t a fan of pills, cannabis was the only thing that provided me with proper relief. Between my own health experience, losing my father to cancer, dealing with my uncle and brother’s opioid addictions and seeing countless other loved ones suffer, I have always tried to make marijuana available to anyone who needs it.


     Now, I am proud to crawl out of the shadow and embark on this new journey of physical and mental healing with my new Best Buds here on the island. 


Your comfort and education are our priority.  



     The Bear's Den Apothecary is the culmination of a 13 year old boys dream followed by 30 years of legal persecution.  It all started the first time I smoked a joint. It was freshman year of high school and I was walking home on the train tracks with my buddy Tony. I felt a little stoned, but once I got home, I quickly fell asleep on the couch. 

     From there, it quickly grew into an obsession with the marijuana counterculture.  I was buying all the High Times Magazines I could find and sneaking into Head Shops underage.  I will never forget the first time I walked into a Head Shop.  It was called The Inner Eye ad it was in Montclair, NJ.  The front windows were all blacked out and you had to be buzzed in to enter.   I hadn't even been inside yet, but it was already the coolest place 13 year old me had ever been. ​Once inside, the smell of Nag Champa incense and the glow of blacklight sensitive posters were the first things I noticed.  My eyes adjusted to the dark and I was surrounded by pipes, bongs, and all kinds of weed merchandise.  At that moment, the vibe took over and I knew I was home.  I knew I wanted to open a shop like that one day.


     Now fast forward to the 22 year old version of me.  At this point I had racked up a few felony charges for selling pot.  I got sent away as part of the NJ Drug Court program.  Before it was completed, I got in trouble again and was now facing 12 years in prison.  I took off for Florida and looked over my shoulder for 12 years, missing much of the family experiences and not being there for my younger brother and sister growing up.  After I got that situation taken care of, that wasn’t the end of it.  Since living in Florida, I have had a few run ins with the law over marijuana.

     Since moving to Florida, I have had a less than desirable legal experience.  First, my house was illegally raided after a traffic stop.  I didn’t have the money for a lawyer to fight it so the public defender left me hanging out to dry. I found out after the fact that I could have gotten the raid thrown away with a competent lawyer.  I wound up with a felony possession charge and lost my driver’s license for 4.5 years. 


     The next incident got me sentenced to 60 days in jail for possession of 5 joints.  My final run in came the Christmas after my father passed away in 2018.  I had medical vapes without the printed sticker at the airport and they charged me with a felony.  I wound up spending $12k on lawyers and court fines, and did a year of probation….for smoking weed….but I could still smoke because I was a medical patient.  I basically got charged with a felony that cost me over $12k over an easily resolved paperwork issue. Even with a medical card, I was treated like a criminal.  


     With the coming of The Bear’s Den Apothecary, we are hoping that means we will be seeing less of the stigma and persecution that cannabis users dealt with for almost a century.  We not only want to be your trusted source for the best quality products, but we also want to be there for you with advice and information. We are more than just a store.   We are a community resource.  Please feel free to stop in and introduce yourself.      

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