JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Remember the CBD craze and the new industry's boom?
The industry, based around reducing pain and stress relief, is not being forgotten as we go through this stressful time, but it is feeling the weight of the coronavirus impact.
Stores are still open that sell cannabidiol, which comes from hemp and is used to treat things like muscle pain. Out of the local CBD stores First Coast News called, sales at some are taking a hit and others are having people run in to stock up, but at each one anxiety is what's bringing people in.
"The anxiety is starting to get real," said Sixton Quinones, co-owner of Your CBD Store in Yulee. "A customer that just walked in, she had esophagus issues, she's got anxiety because of the whole issue and she's got back pain. Mostly she wanted to take it for her anxiety and that was the first thing that she said. A lot of the customers coming in are saying the same thing."
Quinones, his wife, and his son opened their store in December, right before the coronavirus hit the U.S. Now their sales are taking a hit and they're working on creative ways to interact with people online and teach them about CBD.
A hurdle for local CBD stores is that the industry is still relatively new. A big part of Quinones' family's job is teaching people what CBD is. For that they depend on face-to-face interactions.
"You can't really get a sense that the computer is really telling the truth whereas when people just look at you they get a sense and feel of, 'this person actually wants me to feel better,'" Quinones said.
Several other strictly-CBD stores First Coast News called across the First Coast also report lower sales, but the people who do come in are stocking up, worried stores will close.
For now their doors are open, which is a literal stress relief for their communities.
"Being part of the community and trying to help the community do whatever it is that they need," Quinones said. "If it's not CBD then we try to help them out with any other things that we can because we're just here to make everybody feel and have support with anything that they might need.
Stores are selling products online and owners say you should call them with any questions.