TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — Your CBD Store, which is dedicated strictly to CBD products, has opened at 1220 Ulster Ave., near the south entrance to Hudson Valley Mall.
Matthew Tallarico, 36, the store’s owner, said the shop carries such products as CBD solubles that dissolve in water, CBD gummies, topical pain relief creams and even CBD products for pets.
Tallarico said he carries only products that are USDA-certified as organic. All of them are made by a firm called SunMed, he said.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived directly from the hemp plant and is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in marijuana, according to Harvard Medical School.
Tallarico said about 60 percent of his customers so far have been women, many over 40, who want to try something different to tackle such things as pain and sleep problems. Others use it for depression and PTSD, he said.
“People are tired of taking pills,” he said. “They want something that’s natural, not synthetic.”
Tallarico noted industrial hemp has been used by humans to make things like rope for thousands of years, and has been grown in the U.S. since at least the early 1600s. It didn’t become legal in the U.S. however, until the mid-1900s.
It was legalized again by Congress in the 2018 farm bill, he said.
Tallarico said hemp often is associated with marijuana but that there are many differences between the two plants.
Hemp does not cause a user to get high, because it has a very low concentration (0.3 percent or lower) of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high, he said.
Tallarico said many of his customers are people looking to enjoy the benefits of CBD buy have no desire to get high.
Tallarico said his customers tell him CBD products help them with issues like anxiety and lets them skip prescription drugs and their side effects, including stomach issues and even addiction.
“People know better and they don’t want to do that,” Tallarico said. “They want to know about CBD and are interested in a healthy lifestyle.”
Tallarico said he often sits down with customers and talks to them about CBD, offers a Q&A sheet for customers, and allows them to try free samples.
Tallarico, who previously worked as a personal coach and with software startups, said initially was skeptical about CBD but ultimately found it helped calm anxieties he’d had since age 22.
“It helped me. I saw this opportunity, and it was something I wanted to be part of it,” he said.
Tallarico said he keeps abreast of regulations and tries to stay ahead of them. But he also said a lack of clear federal regulation has resulted in some poor-quality CBD products, as well as some lacking clear labeling and dosage information.
Tallarico said all of his products come from U.S.-grown hemp, are tested by third-party labs, have clear labeling, and include QR codes that link customers to product reports. And his water-soluble products have droppers with dosage labels.
Tallarico said hemp regulations that New York state legislators passed last year were a positive step forward.
The new regulations, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in December, created a regulatory framework for hemp extract production, processing and commerce; update the hemp permitting process; and regulate the extract industry through production standards, testing and labeling.
Tallarico said that while his store closely monitors the products it sells, potential users should check with their employer before using any hemp product to make sure it’s OK, especially if their job involves regular drug testing.
Tallarico said he’s keeping an eye on the latest proposal to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New York state but that he has no current plans to apply for permission to sell it if the legislation is approved.
“I’m committed to CBD,” he said.
Your CBD Store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.