Chad Paydo was working as a sales consultant in Petaluma when a nasty car accident in December landed him in the hospital. He couldn’t work and he had trouble even moving without experiencing shooting pain from the whiplash.
Some friends of his, who work for SunMed, a national CBD brand, sent him some samples of their tinctures and topical creams. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive extract derived from cannabis that is used to treat pain and other symptoms.
Paydo, who had never tried marijuana or any illicit drugs, was skeptical at first, but tried it. The pain melted away, he said. The CBD was like a wonder drug.
“I was dealing with some serious pain,” said Paydo, 46. “I was reluctant to try CBD, but I was amazed. It relieved the pain and I was able to function again. I was impressed with how it worked.”
So impressed was Paydo that he soon started selling CBD, and in June he opened Your CBD Store on North McDowell Boulevard next to Ross.
CBD is having a moment as retailers have started putting the trendy extract into everything from creams and gummies to coffee and burgers. There’s even CBD-infused pet food for your furry friend in pain.
Once confined to a corner of the local cannabis dispensary, CBD is now sold at many locations, including dedicated stores like Your CBD Store, which is part of a national chain with 430 stores.
On the other end of Petaluma, Jesse Hughs was the first to market when he opened The Hemp General Store in the Great Petaluma Mill on B Street in April. After a 25-year career in advertising, Hughs decided it was time for a change and partnered with Joe Archer and Jake Bordessa.
While starting the business, Hughs said he had anxiety and many sleepless nights. Then he started taking one of the CBD tinctures that he sells.
“Now I sleep 10 hours every night, without fail,” said Hughs, 45. “CBD saved my sleep pattern.”
Besides the retail shop, Hughs also works helping other people create their own branded CBD products. Hughs and Paydo are two entrepreneurs on the ground floor of a CBD industry that is poised to take off, especially since it has been legalized in all 50 states. Most CBD products are not FDA-approved, though, and sellers are not allowed to make a claim to their efficacy.
Paydo credits the surge in popularity with a marketing strategy that has sought to decouple CBD from the marijuana industry.
Another reason for CBD’s success is that it offers pain sufferers a non-addictive alternative to opiods, Paydo said.
“It’s help without the high,” he said. “For so long it was associated with marijuana. Now that it has been separated, it is being accepted.”
Paydo, who plans on expanding with five more stores in the Bay Area, described his shop as a spa-like experience where customers can feel relaxed. The typical customer is 45 or older, he said, and looking for a product to treat pain, insomnia or anxiety. The most popular products are topical pain cream and water soluble oil, he said.
They also sell CBD in vape cartridges, which are popular with the younger generation, he said. At least five other vape stores in Petaluma sell CBD vape oil.
Hughs said it was a hassle-free experience dealing with the city of Petaluma to open The Hemp General Store, which also sells hemp clothing and bath products. Petaluma has approved up to two marijuana delivery services, but has outlawed brick-and-mortar dispensaries within city limits.
“The city said I was good to go,” Hughs said, “as long as I don’t sell marijuana.”
(Matt Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.)