BOISE — Despite fierce anti-cannabis sentiment among some Idaho lawmakers and authorities, the owners of the state’s first storefront business selling standalone CBD oil say the welcome they’ve received from the public has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Gold Nugget CBD kiosk opened at the Boise Towne Square on May 28. The kiosk features products — such as gummies, chocolate, and even dog treats — infused with cannabidiol, or CBD oil, a substance derived from certain plants, such as industrial hemp and marijuana. While some such products contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana — any substance containing any amount of THC is illegal under Idaho law. So everything the kiosk offers is THC-free, said Jennifer Long, one of the owners.
Long and her husband in January 2017 opened a marijuana dispensary in Sumpter, Oregon. She said they later started selling CBD oil. The kiosk in Boise was a natural extension of their business.
CBD oil is claimed to have health benefits. Claims include a reduction of inflammation in arthritis patients, for instance, and quelling anxiety for some people.
“To see the amount of people who come in with anxiety is surprising,” said Alan Archuleta, who was manning the kiosk Monday afternoon. “It’s not something you talk about.”
On Monday afternoon — and since its opening — many of the kiosk’s customers were middle-aged or older. It makes sense, Archuleta said, because they are more likely to have arthritis or other conditions CBD oil might be able to help.
“It’s the baby boomers,” Long said of her clientele.
Archuleta had a crowd of as many as six or eight customers to work through Monday afternoon. He spoke to each at length, and showed them the myriad CBD oil-related products. While the candies and the chocolate are maybe the most eye-catching of the kiosk’s wares, Long said it’s the tinctures of oil that have proven most popular.
“It’s a good way for people to self-dose,” she said, as opposed to a capsule or another product with a predetermined amount of the substance.
Hemp — the plant from which much CBD oil is reaped — is not a neutral topic in Idaho politics. Three truckers transporting industrial shipments of the substance through Idaho have been arrested as a result and are facing felony charges, despite a petition urging Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts to dismiss the cases. During this past legislative session, efforts to legalize industrial hemp in Idaho were unsuccessful, after hours of impassioned debate.
Customers and the general public appeared to have fewer misgivings about hemp-derived products. Many walking through the mall Monday stopped to look at the Gold Nugget CBD kiosk’s colorful displays. For roughly 20 minutes, Archuleta didn’t stop talking as he moved from one customer to the next. He said he’d been just as busy Sunday.
He said people have been friendly. One person, he said, demanded to know if the product was tested to ensure it does not contain THC. Archuleta assured her it is, and said the company has the results of the tests. Aside from that, he said, no one has complained at all.
Long said the same thing. She recently shared a news story about the kiosk on Facebook, she said. She expected at least a few angry reactions to the story, but there were none.
She said the business has plans for a grand opening in the mall June 15, during which samples will be available. She added the company hopes to open another location in Meridian within the next three months.
She’s glad to see the acceptance of the product in Idaho.
“I just keep thinking ‘baby steps,’” she said.