The first time Donna Katsuranis started using a particular cannabidiol-infused topical ointment, she said she felt her nerve pain completely go away.
Katsuranis, a Brookfield resident, has fibromyalgia. When it flares up, she said she feels pain similar to what shingles would feel like, a pain that other CBD products she’d tried a few years ago couldn’t shake. But when she tried this topical from Your CBD Store, that changed.
“I have not found relief from anything else,” the interfaith minister said.
Katsuranis, a friend of one of the store’s owners, was one of the Connecticut residents who came out to the grand opening event for Your CBD Store on Church Street in New Milford last week. Offering CBD-infused honey sticks and gummies as free samples, the store’s owners — Kabi and Jonathan Mickens — welcomed locals to a sidewalk sale with tables set up outside.
“I’m feeling very happy about it,” Kabi Mickens said about the opening, adding the town’s been “very supportive.”
The celebration comes after Gov. Ned Lamont signed off on a bill this month that mandates the state’s program for growing hemp to follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rules, and have a state commissioner spell out a plan for the substance’s production.
CBD from hemp plants isn’t a controlled substance, and it doesn’t have psychoactive properties. It can have tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in it, but the levels are low — below .3 percent — meaning there isn’t a “high” effect from use of hemp-based CBD products.
Mickens said it’s been “great” to see the industry ramping up in the state.
“Anything like this is very helpful for the CBD industry as a whole,” she said of the October bill in a call.
The Mickens’ new store, which first opened over the summer, sells CBD-infused products like topical creams, tinctures and gummies. People who came by talked about how CBD products had eased their pain or helped them sleep better.
John Chopourian, a Ridgefield resident and friend of the Mickens, said CBD products helped him with his sleep “a lot,” while it helped more moderately with pain.
“I’m getting old, so there’s a certain amount of stuff you gotta deal with,” the 60-year-old said.
And sometimes, it even helped out some pets.
Bethel resident Stu Kaufman said he’s given CBD cookies to his daughter’s rescue dog, Sophie, to calm her.
“She’s a great dog,” he said. “She’s busy.”
Mayor Pete Bass came to the store’s ribbon-cutting, saying it was “great” to see another new business in the town. Given that he’s on other medications, he’d said he’d have to check with his doctor to see if he’d be able to use some of the products himself.
“From all the things that I’ve read about when we’re talking about this, it works for a lot of people, especially for people with arthritis, other issues,” he said. “So I think that’s great. Anytime you can use holistic medicine, I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
All in all, Jonathan Mickens said business has been “picking up” for the store, with people “slowly getting to know that we’re here” and learning more about CBD.
“The more people who can be educated and the more opportunity that people have to use a natural supplement compared to pharmaceuticals, I think the better,” he said.