Consumers all over the world are embracing CBD, the non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp and cannabis, as a wonder ingredient for their health and wellness regimes–from taking CBD as a supplement to applying it in cosmetics to adding it as a gourmet touch, to food and beverage recipes.
Since CBD extracts used in these products are derived from hemp and contain only trace amounts of THC–the psychoactive compound in cannabis–CBD-infused products exist in a legal grey area where they are still technically prohibited.
Increased interest in CBD as a possible option for serious medical conditions like epilepsy, cancer, PTSD, intractable pain, and others has resulted in a growing, potentially mass market for CBD products as a supplement. To supply this growing segment, CBD-only stores have been popping up, well, like weeds–even in states that have not legalized cannabis.
In Los Angeles, where cannabis dispensaries outnumber CBD-only stores literally by hundreds-to-one, CBD-only shop Topikal opened in April at a location on the Venice Beach boardwalk. Topikal carries its own private label line of topicals and tinctures; their flagship location is in Tarzana, California.
Topikal co-founder Gary Avetisyan told mgretailer earlier this summer that their most popular products are tinctures taken orally.
“I would say it’s a split between the topicals and the oils that you take under the tongue, but it depends on what people are taking it for and their reasoning,” Avetisyan explained. “Sublingual–it’s the rawest way to get CBD into your body. You put it right under your tongue; your glands accept it a lot easier than taking the capsule to absorb through the digestive system, and I feel like that’s the most popular way.”
“Our Topikals [line] are also very, very popular. We concentrate more on the oils, and of course, we put a lot of emphasis on the topicals as well. Our emu oil is great. Our Omega 3 hemp pain cream is really nice,” he added.
Like Topikal, CBD-only stores sell products that contain oil extracted from hemp, as opposed to cannabis, primarily because other products containing hemp components are used in many industrial and consumer applications in the U.S., and so, seem less legally risky than cannabis-derived products. CBD-only shops are not required to have expensive licensing, like cannabis dispensaries in legal states.
In fact, the U.S. is the largest global importer of hemp products. Until pending Senate approval of the 2018 version of the Farm Act, which contains provisions to allow farming of industrial hemp in the United States, most hemp raw materials and products are imported from countries where it is legal to grow hemp, like China, France, and the Netherlands. Only two percent of those imported hemp materials and goods supply the current U.S. market for CBD products, though U.S.-grown hemp extracts are becoming available increasingly for CBD-infused product manufacture.
So, where can you find hemp-derived CBD products? Here are a few infused retailers that have opened across the nation:
Adriaen Block CBD Bar–Located in the NYC borough of Queens, the venue is not a CBD-only store, but a lounge that serves CBD-infused drinks and “healthy” cocktails. Named after a notorious explorer of the nearby East River, Adriaen Block also offers infused whip cream and dipping sauce for dishes served, but limits customers to two infused drink or menu items per visit.
Aurora 225 CBD & Hemp–In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this boutique CBD-only store is the first in the state. In Louisiana, though medical marijuana has been legalized since 2016, production of cannabis-derived extract is limited to facilities at Louisiana State and Southern Universities. As with all the stores on this list, products available at Aurora 225 CBD & Hemp are produced with hemp-derived CBD extracts.
CBD Hemp Dropz of St. Cloud–Opened in August, this St. Cloud, Minnesota location is in the Midtown Square Mall. The store offers a variety of CBD-infused products from various brands and manufacturers, and including edibles, beverages, edibles, topicals, tinctures, cosmeceuticals, and more.
Organics OKC–This Oklahoma City, Oklahoma organic gardening center offers hemp enthusiasts every way to indulge their passion. As an garden supply center, they can sell you everything you need to grow your own high quality hemp, if you like. But, if you’ve got an aching back from too much gardening, you can pick up some CBD-infused products on the spot. This mom-and-pop-owned shop offers all things CBD, from edibles and pet treats, to tinctures and lotions, to vapes and concentrates for smoking.
American Shaman CBD–This Midwest franchise is coming on like gangbusters, with multiple locations, including seven storefronts in the Tulsa, Oklahoma alone. One of their latest, located in midtown Tulsa on Yale Ave. American Shaman CBD offers franchise opportunities, and has numerous retail locations in Missouri, Texas, and Kansas, as well as stores throughout in the Southeast, and some stores in Illinois, New Mexico, Nebraska, New York, Washington State, and California.
Sacred Leaf CBD–Offering its signature line of CBD tinctures, capsules, and balms, Sacred Leaf CBD stores can be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. The vertically integrated company provides hemp-derived CBD products that are documented from seed-to-shelf, and adhere to testing and labeling standards, which help guarantee authenticity and quality. Wholesale opportunities are available from Kansas City-based Sacred Leaf.
The Hemp Farmacy–With seven locations in North Carolina, this CBD-only chain has formed extensive partnerships with other U.S. companies to create a conglomerate of hemp industry players that have interests in every aspect of production and sales. Those partners include East Coast Genetics, Integrated Hemp Solutions, NC Hemp Research Farm Campus, Hope Hemp Extracts, Legacy Farms Cannabis, and Jimmy Cannabis. Goals include expanding into other applications for industrial hemp products.
The CBD Store–One of several The CBD Store locations, the Magazine Street store, in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the city’s first and opened in August. Another location, in downtown Columbus, Ohio, also opened in August. Other locations in this chain can be found in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. Test results for their signature products, including gummies, soft gels, tinctures, vape oil, and water-soluble topical cream are available on the company website.