Their brainchild, Chris and Beth Jolliffe admit, is a mere infant.
“We had been thinking about it only since May,” Beth said of the Beaver County couple’s initial inkling of opening a CBD store in Western Pennsylvania.
No, this was not a meticulous plan drafted over a decade. Chris, 44, had been dealing with issues following two full knee replacements, tried CBD gummies and found relief. That piqued his interest in cannabidiol, an enthusiasm further stoked by a friend who had launched a store selling CBD oil and other products in Bridgewater, in their home county, and hired him to work there part time.
He wanted to start his own store, but the Jolliffes already had busy lives. They have two teens (Ethan, 14, and Erika, 12), they had full-time jobs, and a first foray into retail was fraught with uncertainty.
But in a short time, the CBD idea became A-OK, so they did their research, their due diligence, and started scouting locations. They found one in downtown Washington, at 14 N. Main St., and in four days will become the first CBD specialty shop in the county seat.
Your CBD Store Washington will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, directly across from the building that collapsed infamously two years ago this month. Signage is up outside and in, and as of Saturday afternoon, all the owners were awaiting were their products, a front-desk countertop and the clock to strike 10 a week later.
The products, of course, are paramount to this operation, but Chris expected them to arrive ahead of opening day.
CBD, of course, is hot stuff these days, credited with having anti-inflammation properties and reducing pain, stress and anxiety. It is a key component of medical marijuana, derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant. Yet there are misconceptions about CBD, and some in the medical community question its true effectiveness.
“It’s important to know not all CBD oils are the same,” said Beth, an executive assistant with a large shipping company in Robinson Township, Allegheny County. “You have to be careful with products. You have to educate yourself.”
Chris, also a third-party building inspector, was the impetus behind pursuing the store. Beth was the voice of reason.
“I talked to customers about intimate issues at the (Bridgewater store),” he said. “I told the owner that I want my own store.”
“I said, ‘No,’” Beth said, smiling. “But I could see his excitement and all the fundamental hard work he was willing to put in, and I was totally on board.”
The couple investigated locations in other areas, but didn’t like them or found rents to be prohibitive. Then Chris drove into the heart of Washington one day.
“Washington was one of the major spots on our radar,” he said. “Once I pulled onto Main Street, I saw some gorgeous buildings. I liked this building with its façade. I was concerned with what was across the street (before the collapsed building was fashionably covered up), but I see things happening, people taking care of things.”
The Jolliffes live in Patterson Township, in the Blackhawk School District, and have a 45- to 60-minute commute to Washington. But they don’t mind that, and will head a staff of five in the store.
Initially, Your CBD Store Washington will be open daily – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The owners said they might drop Sunday.
They are hyped up, and hemped up, about their new endeavor.