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Shoppers at Park Meadows often slow down when they pass the new Phytorite kiosk, located outside the Tesla store. Some shake their head and walk away quickly, while others slowly approach the kiosk and begin asking questions.
Phytorite, owned by Charlie Stivers, 42, is the first of its kind at the mall in Lone Tree, and sells CBD products such as salves, tinctures, clothing and pet products. Cannabidiols, or CBD, are derived from hemp and contain only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
“Are you curious or are you familiar?” That's a question Stivers asks those who stop by the kiosk, and he often gets the response that shoppers are curious.
According to Stivers, educating people about the benefits of CBD products is one of the driving forces behind opening Phytorite in the mall.
“I see people walk by and say 'that's marijuana,' ” said Stivers. “I like being able to teach people about the difference between marijuana and CBD and Hemp. CBD has had such a huge impact on my life, and I really just want people to know that they can get relief from certain ailments by using CBD products, and they don't have to get high.”
Stivers, whose middle name is Garden, grew up on a farm and was always open to plant-based alternatives to health issues, such as using aloe vera to soothe skin conditions. An active athlete, as he approached 40 he said he began experiencing various aches and pains. He tried eight drops of a CBD tincture one night before bed, and awoke with no pain. He's been passionate about the uses of CBD ever since.
“I'm not a fan of getting high,” said Stivers. “All of my products contain less than 0.3 percent THC. My daughter had brain surgery and my son suffered a serious concussion, and I used CBD products with both of them.”
Louise Preston, 42, has used CBD products for her elderly dog for years, and said she is happy to see them come into the mainstream shopping areas.
“This will be good. I used to have to go to a dispensary, which was a specific trip in itself,” said Preston. “Now, I can pick it up while I'm out shopping. It's good to see more understanding about these types of products.”
Stivers said he has been well received by other businesses in the mall, as well as mall security and other employees.
“Part of the fun of this job is making friends,” said Stivers. “Sales are driven by mall traffic, and I'm doing OK, but it's really satisfying to provide a comfortable, safe environment where people can come get answers and learn more about the great benefits of CBD.”
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