Meet Michael Maniscalco. He is the owner of Your CBD Store located at 13721 N Dale Mabry Highway. The store was opened 3 months ago.
He is a native of Tampa. His wife works in New York so sometimes he’s a solo dad taking care their charming 8-year old daughter and 2 cute puppies, Laila and Tobi.
Thank you, Michael, for spreading the good news of what you can do with plant medicine and for your love for North Tampa.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: A couple of things. I’ve always had sort of drive to help where I can, I spent some time as a peer counselor in a drug treatment program in my late teens, obviously I’ve done some volunteer work throughout my life in different areas even a little mandatory community service. My father is a doctor, he takes care of people. Growing up I think there were many occasions when we meet people who were just so indebted to my father for the work he had done for them, their family member or somebody they knew. One of my friends Elliot Cohn was a guitar player for a local band, he was having trouble using his hands, having some sort of carpal tunnel or some nerve issues and my dad was able to help him. Seeing those kinds of interaction and seeing how people were grateful for my father for the work he had done. I think that’s inspired me to have a drive for helping. Then beyond that the CBD world, I think is very exciting because it’s in a merging field that is very disruptive on many levels and it’s interesting those sort of the ice breaker examples or cases where children that were extremely resistant to traditional medication to control their seizures and had epilepsy. Some of the earliest examples that CBD is medicine are the videos of these children that are legitimately being tortured. As a father, I can’t imagine the torture that it must be for a parent to be just grasping at anything to give their child some relief and nothing works. Within seconds of applying good CBD, or some cannabis extract, the seizures stop. That’s medicine, in anybody’s definition, that’s medicine. For me, this is plant medicine that we’re looking at. Those terms can be a little inflammatory in this scene but if you look at what we consider medicine in other terms and what it does, in a way it’s a new form of medicine. We want people to know, there’s help here. Not everybody is open minded about what we’re doing so being part of Your CBD Store chain, there’s over 600 across the country, I like to think that everyday each one of those stores open that at least one customer walks in with a positive story and sharing at least one new piece of anecdotal evidence.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in North Tampa, and what do you love there?
A: I can tell you pretty easily because as recently as last night we ate there, Noble Crust. Their food is fantastic, I would highly suggest their Noble Pig Pizza and Charles is the best waiter in the place.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in North Tampa?
A: My wife and I live right behind late Magdalene School, we live there with our daughter and 2 puppies, Laila and Tobi. We have been in the same house for a little over decade and then prior to that my parent’s house is a stone’s throw away from the Patel Manor.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: I know this may sound a little cheesy but if given opportunity to travel and will not too worry about my responsibilities for a week, I would probably follow my wife up to New York. She works there and every month or 2 -3 weeks or so she travels to New York. We can hang out where she works and take her to see some sights when she has time off.
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: Interesting question because this maybe make some people have to look it up called Southland Tales with The Rock and Justin Timberlake. I like some sci-fi fantasy or some alternate reality. I’m also a big fan of Black Mirror and Conspiracy Theory. I like movies that kind of questions the narrative, and Southland Tales is a great example of something that might make us wonder if we really quite don’t know everything that’s going on. For example, while watching how bees interact with each other, having that access to nature and seeing what’s going on on the other side of the door, it’s sort of interesting. I’ve got experience in computers and technology and my dad was sort of brain surgeon, and bees are like little computer programs, they’re like little robots , they do learned behaviors like the march or like wash boarding that we don’t know why they have those behaviors. There are actually some bees in the hive that their only job is just dance around and get everybody worked up something like a cheerleader. In general, I like movies that kind of echo that sentiment, the one that says that there is something happening in the world and we don’t know exactly what it is.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: When I was younger I used to watch G.I Joe and at the end of every G.I Joe cartoon, they would end the show with a little lesson and the lesson with a saying: “Now you know and knowing is half the battle!” Having a little experience in going to AA meetings and things like that and working as a peer counselor in my life and seeing a lot of people struggling with happiness and addiction. I learned that a lot of life has to do with balance, being in balance and recognizing when you’re out of balance. So how AA and G.I Joe relates is that some of the times that I went to AA meetings, I would hear people talking about how AA and what they learned in AA ruined their drinking and that’s how it ties in G.I Joe because knowing is half the battle and when you know better, you should do better. And they would go back out trying to drink like they had before and since they know better they can’t enjoy it by trying to be ignorant because now they know why I am doing it. It’s half of the battle so what’s the other half? That’s my question but I came in one day and I think it’s a pretty good answer, the other half of the battle is doing something about it, having some tools whether it’s taking a walk to calm down, counting to 10, doing Yoga, taking yourself to a nice restaurant and treating yourself to a nice meal or whatever it is you need to do.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: This may sound silly and crazy but I wanted to do some Tree Top Zip Lining in Costa Rica or some place like that.
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: Honestly the first inclination is Pink Floyd, I do a little DJ and worked for a little while on the 88.5 WMNF which is still going on until today technically Friday morning like from 1:00 -4:00 am, ZentripZ is the name of the show. I worked for them for about 5 years and saw a lot of local DJ’s like Big Willie. As far as music I like to keep it local, I love to see my friends playing music. There is a group of my best friends from high school that are still in a band up to this day called, American Supermodel. Those guys are creative and their band has been around for decades now.
Q: Who has the biggest positive impact in your life?
A: Probably my daughter, she’s going to be 8 years old in April 2020. Kids will teach you patience. I love her and I don’t want to lose my cool because that’s their job, to kind of push boundaries. As I just starting to feel my way as a father, I started to get these ripples in my time like I remember doing this to my dad and how he handled it. As a literal work in progress and constantly under construction, she has been my greatest motivator for making me a better person.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about North Tampa?
A: I think it’s the same thing that is true about Tampa as a city, it’s a big city but it’s really not, it’s a small city. And if you’re from here or you’ve been here long enough, the circles overlap. For example, you’ll go out to the grocery store and bump into a family member, relative or friend of the family, that’s what I like about of being from here.
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: Just for the fun of it, I’d like to co-star with Jim Carrey. He does painting and big stuff. He’s very impressive, he seems so much fun to hang out and our was kind of like our version of Charlie Chaplin growing up. He did a documentary about Andy Kaufman and what was going on during the Man on the Moon movie, how he embodied the character so completely that it was a little unnerving to people that off camera he was still acting like Andy Kaufman. It was like a sort of metamorphosis when he took that role.
Q: Do you think knowing people in the community is still important or it’s not that important anymore because we can connect via social media and internet?
A: If I can at all times, I’d prefer to do things face to face and I think technology can’t be a substitute for that. I read a lot of body language, I like eye contact and one of the things frustrates me to know when texts messages gets sent and you don’t know the emotions behind it so you can’t tell if they’re being funny, mad or being sarcastic. A lot of those issues fall away when you’re able to look at someone’s face.