By JOHN T. WARD
A high-profile Red Bank building that’s been vacant for 15 years has been cleared for a new tenant: a seller of trendy CBD-based health and beauty products, redbankgreen has learned.
A retail shop called CBD For Life was approved August 1 by the borough planning office to open in the former Katsin’s Drugs building at 192 Shrewsbury Avenue, documents show.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, an ingredient in both hemp and its related plant, marijuana, though it does not cause users to get high, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Following an initial denial, the borough planning office granted approval of the store after the applicant provided documentation that its hemp-derived products are below the threshold level for THC, the psychotropic ingredient in cannabis.
“All of our CBD is derived from organically grown hemp and contain 0% THC,” company vice president and general manager Julie Winter told the borough by email. “There will be absolutely no marijuana or marijuana derived extracts (distinguished from hemp as containing more than .3% Delta-9 THC) sold at this location.”
“Only CBD products derived from hemp are permitted,” the approval states. “CBD products derived from cannabis are not permitted as the property is within the drug free school zone.”
The June 25 application, filed by a building contractor, says the store will sell “natural, luxurious and effective CBD infused pain and beauty products.” Winter did not immediately respond to a redbankgreen request for more information Tuesday; we’ll update this post with her comments, if any are offered.
CBD has been getting boosts from lawmakers and consumers amid a widespread loosening of laws regarding marijuana growth and possession, though inconsistencies in enforcement abound.
A farm bill passed by Congress and signed into law last December by President Trump removed a federal ban on hemp production and possession of CBD products from hemp legal as long as they contain no more than .3-percent THC.
And New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy last Friday signed a law that allows hemp to be grown in the state by farmers who register and submit their crops for periodic testing of THC levels.
Separately, a push for legalization of marijuana in the Garden State lost momentum and stalled earlier this year.
Amid a wide array of claimed health benefits that include stress reduction, and alleviation of chronic pain and menstrual cramps, products infused with CBD have been proliferating as sales have burgeoned.
Red Bank-based CBD For Life, which makes “creams, liquids and sprays, selling both online and in more than 1,000 retailers nationwide,” is “trying to keep up with an expansion that includes 25 new retailers a week,” the Asbury Park Press reported last month.
Toss’d, restaurant slated to open on Monmouth Street, plans to have CBD-infused items on its menu, owner Nick Napoletano told redbankgreen last month.
The efficacy of some CBD claims is disputed, however, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month issued a warning to a Massachusetts company for “illegally selling unapproved products containing cannabidiol (CBD) online with unsubstantiated claims that the products treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, opioid withdrawal, pain and pet anxiety, among other conditions or diseases.”
CBD For Life, was founded by Beth Stavola of Middletown and acquired by iAnthus Capital Holdings of New York for $10.4 million in June, according to the Press.
Stavola remained with the company as chief strategy officer, and has moved its offices from her home into the Galleria Red Bank, where it has about two dozen employees, the Press said.
According to an archived Atlanticville article, Katsin’s closed in 2004 after 86 years of operation, the last 70 on the West Side. A free-standing vertical sign in classic neon channel letters remains on the site.
The borough approval states that “no additional exterior/façade alterations or signs proposed or approved at this time.”
Monmouth County property records show Steve Goodman bought the property, at the corner of Catherine Street, in late 2017 for $310,000.