Although the COVID-19 pandemic constrained business growth, CBD products have been becoming more and more popular. The CBD industry has increased its sales by 15% in 2020 alone.
One of New Paltz’s local businesses, Lagusta’s Luscious, a chocolate shop, has joined the trend. They are introducing their new “Softer Power Sweets” described on the Instagram page as “thoughtfully made CBD sweets rooted in softness and concern for all.” Lagusta’s Luscious has always been known for their crazy creations such as their vulva shaped chocolates and flower tablet bark so it’s no surprise they hopped on the CBD train. Their website states, “everything we make is truly ethical, small-batch, and vegan.” The new sweets won’t be any exception as they will be handmade by employees in the former Mac’s Iron Works building on North Putt Corners Road.
There are a lot of misconceptions that are associated with cannabis products such as CBD. In the United States, CBD is not considered a controlled substance when it doesn’t come directly from the marijuana plant. THC is controlled and is illegal under federal law. CBD is a different molecule even though the two substances are almost identical in their chemical makeup.
CBD, which is made up of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive molecule combined with hemp oil contains less than .3% of THC causing no high effect when being used. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient in marijuana plants. Studies show that CBD can help with common ailments such as insomnia, anxiety and chronic pain which is why people use it for more medicinal uses rather than the traditional recreational use of marijuana.
The founder of Lagusta’s Luscious, Lagusta Yearwood, has been selling chocolate since 2003. The company has always been infused with Yearwood’s values: “a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism, and veganism.” All the chocolates are fair trade, and the ingredients are ethically sourced. Their chocolate boxes range from $18 to $25.
Shana Napoli, a partner owner of “Softer Power Sweets,” was the one that introduced Yearwood to the idea of CBD treats. Yearwood eventually agreed. Eventually they hope to introduce “Softer Power Sweets,” a THC infused brand as soon as the New York State laws are settled. Napoli and Yearwood have teamed up with two other chocolatiers, Mike McGregor and Ericka Wadleigh to create the two business ventures.
There are some challenges regarding recreational products. The likelihood of a federal raid on the business is unlikely but because of the high control on the substance, banking is difficult for this type of company. A traditional banking loan to open a company selling CBD or THC products is harder to obtain due to the changing rules. “Softer Power Sweets” is expected to open later in April because of the need for retooling in the Iron Works building. In the meantime, you can stop by their current location on North Front Street, to pick up some delicious chocolates for your sweet tooth.