Leighton Knowles is partnering with a local Glendale business owner at a yet-to-be-revealed location to open a CBD-infused coffee shop in the neighborhood he now calls home.
CBD is one of the most prevalent chemicals in cannabinoid, however it does not bring with it the psychoactive effects of being “high.” It’s completely legal and Knowles praised it for its numerous health benefits.
“I believe the benefits of it far outweigh the negatives,” Knowles said. “Compare it to alcohol. Alcohol is a depressive, but CBD actually helps your mood, increases your appetite, and relieves anxiety.”
Knowles, originally from England, moved to Glendale a year ago and made a name for himself in the neighborhood by working at DiMarco’s Butcher Shop. He said he takes CBD every day either in tablet or gummy form.
“For myself, I see it as a benefit,” he said. “It calms my nerves because I’m very very anxious. It keeps me very focused. It’s basically all the joys of the high without the psychoactivity.”
At Knowles’ CBD-infused dinner on April 20, which was held at The Keep in Ridgewood, he saw first-hand the impact it was having on customers. One woman with chronic back pain reported no pain during the dinner and a man with multiple sclerosis said half of his symptoms disappeared while consuming CBD.
“The benefits people will be able to see,” he said.
Knowles sees his role partially as an educator. So far, the reactions to the dinner and coffee shop have been mostly positive in Glendale, he said, but there has been some negative backlash from residents.
He believes residents against the coffee shop don’t fully understand CBD.
“We’re going to hold seminars where people can come into the back space and get an education on what cannabidiol is,” Knowles said. “Throughout my career, it’s all about educating people in what they’re eating.”
Knowles also said they will sell the coffee packaged there, so if someone is anxious about trying the product in public they can try it in their own home.
The shop will display all of their permits and certificates, as well as ingredients and lab results on the package to ensure customers that the products are safe.
They will have a full range of other coffee products too, so it won’t just be for those interested in seeing the effects of CBD first-hand. Knowles said it will be just like a normal coffee shop with one caveat.
“We’re going to have the one thing nobody else in New York has,” Knowles said, referring to the CBD-infused coffee.