A new CBD retail store will soon be opening in Wilton Center.
Your CBD Store, a national chain with over 550 retail stores, will open in the Wilton River Park shopping center, located in the space between Sweet Pierre’s and the space previously occupied by Tom E Toes restaurant.
Peter Bogdan, the franchisee of the store, is originally from Greenwich and has lived in Wilton since 2007. He told GOOD Morning Wilton he began looking for new business opportunities when a restaurant he owned in Bethel was largely destroyed in a storm, and further complicated by the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though he also explored sites outside of Wilton for the Your CBD Store, he was very happy to find the Wilton River Park location. “I’m in town [center] all the time. When I saw the sign that the space was available, I knew it would be a good spot. The size was perfect,” he said.
Though cognizant of the fact that brick-and-mortar stores are challenged by online retailers more than ever, Bogdan believes a physical location is critical for his business. “It’s important to be educating people” he explained. “We want to have a relationship with customers… so they’re comfortable using our products.”
CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of more than 80 chemical compounds found in the cannabis family of plants. Another compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the one that produces the “high” commonly associated with marijuana.
The CBD products sold at Your CBD Store are made entirely from the hemp plant, also in the cannabis family, but a different species from the marijuana plant.
More specifically, the products are made from “industrialized hemp” which was legalized for a wide variety of uses in 2018.
“Industrialized” does not mean unnatural. In fact, most of the Your CBD Store products are certified organic.
Bogdan says CBD products fall into the broader trend toward holistic care and naturally-derived products, and that they have a number of “potential health benefits”.
“Potential” Yet To Be Substantiated
While CBD is viewed by Bogdan and many others as having “potential” benefits (such as for sleep, pain, mental focus and a variety of medical conditions) most specific medical claims have yet to be scientifically proven.
According to the FDA website, “Much interest has been seen around CBD and its potential related to health benefits” and the FDA is “working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD.”
The FDA has approved only one CBD product for medical use, a prescription drug that treats seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Under federal law, it is still illegal to market other CBD products with medical claims, and the FDA says consumers should use caution with CBD products given the unknown risks and potential side effects. (Of note, the FDA warns pregnant women and nursing mothers against using CBD products.)
But “compliance” is a term with which Bogdan has become very familiar. Details about each product sold at Your CBD Store will be explicit and easily available to customers, and the website clearly states, “Our products are intended to be used as an herbal supplement. Consult your doctor before you quit taking any medications with the intention of replacing them with the natural and holistic option of hemp.”
Bogdan, who is enthusiastic about CBD’s ability to help people in a variety of ways, was also quick to encourage people to speak with their doctors before using CBD products.
He also advised, “Start low and go slow” noting that many CBD products come in multiple strengths/doses, and that’s where the relationship with someone in the store can benefit a new customer.
All Your CBD Store locations sell the company’s own SUNMED and SUNFLORA brands of CBD products, including tinctures (drops), edibles and topical products. The line includes some products for pets as well. Here are a sampling of products:
A Your CBD store franchise (not owned by Bogdan) has already opened on Elm Street in downtown New Canaan, as well as in Bridgeport and Danbury. Bogdan is hopeful for an April 1 opening in Wilton, but an exact date is still to be determined. He anticipates a grand opening with a ribbon-cutting event.
The official opening will be dependent on some factors out of Bogdan’s control, including approvals by the town on signage and delivery of some retail components.