Recess, an e-Commerce cannabidiol (CBD)-infused drink retailer, has opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City, according to CNBC. The brand sells sparkling beverages made with hemp extract and L-theanine that come in flavors such as blackberry chai. Recess plans to expand its product selection in the future.
While the company’s lease only lasts for a few months, Recess CEO Ben Witte told CNBC that the company is likely to extend its stay. The retailer already is looking to expand its physical presence, with a second store planned for Los Angeles and vending machines that can be rolled out across the country.
The New York location is set up to host events in addition to selling drinks, and includes a lounge area where shoppers can relax. The goal is to create a space where customers can feel like they are “walking into Instagram…or walking into a billboard,” according to Witte.
A majority (56%) of U.S. consumers would try cannabis if it were legal, according to a survey by A.T. Kearney. The use of CBD, which is non-intoxicating, is a particular lucrative proposition: 82% of U.S. consumers are aware of the health and wellness benefits of CBD, and 78% suggested they would try products with the compound.
Mainstream retailers are already embracing the potential, with luxury retailer Barneys New York and mall operator Simon Property Group launching cannabis-based retail pilots. Barneys New York will open The High End inside its Beverly Hills, Calif. flagship in March, where it will sell accessories made in partnership with cannabis products manufacturer Beboe. Simon is partnering with Green Growth Brands to open 108 shops in its malls.