The growth of the CBD market in Ithaca has another data-point, as Our Remedies joins others like Your CBD Store in the burgeoning alternative medicine scene locally.
The store itself is pretty unassuming, tucked into the space on the Commons that used to house a barber shop. Inside, though, is a complete change for anyone who frequented said barber shop, as the white walls and barber chairs have been replaced with rich wood and a bar where customers can take dabs of their preferred CBD product. CEO and owner Sam Viscome remodeled the storefront himself, working day and night over the last several months.
Viscome tussles with some of the same issues his nearby competitors deal with, namely that people are still wary of the legitimacy and the legality of his products. He sells some products that, frankly, do look just like a bag of weed. But, as others have, Viscome explains that its inevitable that the products are going to appear like something illicit; after all, they come from the same plant. But, as Viscome explains it, these are CBD-dominant cannabis products as opposed to THC-dominant cannabis products (THC is generally known as the primary psychoactive element of marijuana).
Our Remedies has been open at their Ithaca location for about one month, in addition to a location in the Destiny USA Mall in Syracuse. In their brief time open so far, Viscome said they have been able to attract some repeat customers already, giving him some hope for the future. His approach to marketing the two stores has been different too, knowing that Ithaca customers might appreciate a more low-key approach with a stronger emphasis on word-of-mouth.
“It’s cool to just do things grassroots style and see how Ithaca takes it,” he said. “I’m definitely doing this different than in Syracuse, to cater to Ithaca because I love Ithaca and I understand it.”
One example of that is the aforementioned dab bar, a feature of the Ithaca store that the Syracuse location does not have. Viscome also points out the variety of ingestion methods Our Remedies has, including granola bars, gummies and chewing gum with CBD, as well as pre-rolled hemp cigarettes.
Like others, Viscome came to CBD through personal experience, his own medical history informing his trust in the alternative medicine. Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder at a young age, which eventually evolved into a diagnosis of depression, Viscome was prescribed several different medications that he disliked, either because of the side effects or just how the drugs impacted his daily life. He’d grown disillusioned with modern medicine and decided to turn to something else. Cannabis helped him then, and he thinks it could hold similar benefits for others.
“I’ve just found that it was the only thing that worked when doctors and typical medical system failed me,” he said. “It was pretty obvious that holistic was the only truth to health in my eyes. Everything about cannabis has always been extremely interesting to me, and I’ve always known that New York was a little behind the times.”