A first-of-its-kind cafe is opening in Portland, and the cannabis company behind the venture hopes it opens up new doors for their business.
Gron’s (pronounced Gruen) new café is serving drinks and chocolate containing Cannabidiol, or CBD –- the non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana.
They extract the CBD from trees found in Southeast Asia, which means that state regulators have no oversight on their sales.
“We’re able to actually go out to the public with this product because it’s not from cannabis or hemp. We can do public medicated samples and people can try it for themselves,” said James Sharinghousen, Gron CBD’s event coordinator.
While studies have shown the pain relief properties in cannabis-derived CBD, there have not been studies on what the tree bark-based CBD does.
According to Gron, this type of CBD does have a different effect.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission says it has no plans to try and regulate the GronCAFE, though any businesses in this field knows there’s always an chance of it happening.
“That’s not to say somebody couldn’t come in tomorrow and tell us something different. We’re definitely aware that could happen,” said Jenna Rice, Gron CBD’s operation manager.
Gron has been made edible marijuana chocolates for three years, but because of OLCC regulation, they can’t go out to events or fairs to sell their products. Federal rules also prohibit them from shipping it across state lines.
They hope GronCAFE attracts new customers who may be hesitant to go in to a dispensary and try their normal products.
Janet Leathem is their ideal customer. She has gone her entire life without trying pot, telling KATU that while it may be legal in Oregon, for her there’s still a stigma.
“I would never even go into the store to get the product because that’s how adverse I am to the whole thing,” she said.
She was one of the visitors who sampled chocolates from GronCAFE on Wednesday during their soft opening at the shop on SE Madison Street.
Oregonians could see more CBD products as the OLCC is set to craft rules over the next few months on growing hemp, which is rich with the compound.