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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Hemp Dust in Your Coffee At NoHo Cafe

At Joe Coffee in North Hollywood’s Arts District, it’s not just an extra espresso shot that customers can add to their iced latte. Starting in April, the coffee shop began offering CBD — a non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp or cannabis that some claim has healing properties — as a supplement in its coffee drinks. “A lot of the people order it in the afternoon to help them calm down,” said co-owner Breanne Yarbrough. “It’s a mood enhancer, but it also helps you relax.” CBD has grown in popularity in recent years because of what proponents say are its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety benefits. In addition to beverages, the compound can be found in an array of oils, topical creams and even dog treats. The market for CBD consumer products is expected to hit $1 billion by 2020, according to a report from cannabis industry market research firm Brightfield Group. CBD can be derived from either the marijuana plant or hemp, a crop now grown in several U.S. states in accordance with the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, which distinguished hemp from marijuana so it could be produced as a commodity. The water-soluble CBD powder Joe Coffee uses in its supplement is hemp-derived, so it contains either trace amounts of THC — the active ingredient that produces a marijuana high — or none at all. For this reason, hemp-based CBD is not subject to the same state or federal regulations as marijuana and can be sold by retailers that aren’t dispensaries. Joe Coffee is one of the only coffee shops in the Valley currently offering CBD. A 20 milligram dose costs $3.50 and has no discernable flavor when added to coffee or tea, Yarbrough said. Manager Ethan Cohen said the menu addition has attracted new customers and is driving sales. “It’s definitely helped our business,” he said. “I think it has given us exposure and brought new people in the door who either know about CBD or are learning about it.” Cohen said the shop encourages people to research CBD before trying it for themselves. There isn’t a legal age limit for purchasing CBD in California, so the shop uses its discretion when deciding whom to sell to. Now that the state has legalized recreational marijuana, Yarbrough and her husband and co-owner Joe plan to apply to sell marijuana and marijuana-products at the shop. They also intend to sign leases for two new locations by the end of the year, which they hope to one day turn into Amsterdam-style cannabis lounges. “With the legalization of marijuana, we know being early adapters of CBD is only going to help to normalize THC in the future,” she said. “It’s a steppingstone.” – Ethan Varian

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