One story has been making the news lately in Wisconsin: A cannabidiol (CBD) dispensary that was supposed to open in Cedarburg, Wisc., may not open at all due to local zoning laws.
Until now, ErthScentials CBD has been successful at every venture. After two years selling natural health and beauty products online, at events and in local retail stores, aromatherapist Jennifer Kawczynski opened her first brick-and-mortar store, Erth Dispensary, last December in Bayview. The business blossomed, thanks to strict quality standards and a wide variety of CBD products, including a large choice of edibles, tinctures, bath products and more. Soon, Kawczynski was ready to open a second location in Cedarburg. However, the Cedarburg Planning Commission opposed it.
Three weeks after receiving what she thought was the appropriate occupancy permitâ€”and after she had invested $10,000 in the Cedarburg locationâ€”Kawczynski received notice that her store couldnâ€™t open. According to the city planner, CBD stores are not specifically allowed (or banned, for that matter) by the zoning code in the cityâ€™s central business district.
â€śI was completely transparent about who we are and that we are a CBD dispensary,â€ť Kawczynski explains. â€śI sent all the paperwork back and received my occupancy permit in the mail. I signed the lease and began renovations. Our kids moved to Cedarburg to help manage and operate this location. We have also contributed to local charities in the Cedarburg community as well as signed up to be a sponsor of their Summer Sounds event.â€ť
While Erth Dispensaryâ€™s first location has a â€śColorado dispensary atmosphere,â€ť complete with a full bud bar, the Cedarburg location was meant to be more family friendly, with a small boutique feel. â€śWith the Cedarburg location, we made the decision to not bring any hemp flower or smokable products,â€ť Jennifer Kawczynski states. â€śOur typical clients are families like yours and mineâ€”mothers, fathers, sisters, brothersâ€”our main demographic is women 50 and older coming in seeking aid for inflammation, sleep aids and other wellness products.â€ť
Kawczynski and her lawyer argued that a CBD store falls under one of the categories allowed by the zoning code, and they also asked to modify the code to allow dispensaries, but to no avail. Going forward, Kawczynski has one more chance during a public hearing in front of the Common Council on Monday, June 10.
â€śI have reached out to both the mayor and an alderman and offered to sit down with them and help explain to them the contribution that our business could bring to their community. We have yet to hear back from them,â€ť Kawczynski says.
Unlike cannabisâ€™ other molecule, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no psychoactive effects and does not make users high. It has relaxing, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. â€śCBD in general has helped so many everyday families out, just like mine,â€ť Kawczynski adds. â€śThere are a lot of misconceptions about this industry, and this is something that my family and business stand out to educate communities on.â€ť
For more information, visit Erth Dispensary, 1200 E. Oklahoma Ave. or their website at erthscentialscbd.com.