Standard Dose, the online CBD wellness retailer, has opened a 2,400-square-foot flagship in Manhattan.
For the uninitiated: CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It's not psychoactive in the same way as THC, its more potent cousin. CBD's place in the spotlight derives from its purported benefits for managing pain, stress, and skincare problems like eczema, acne, and psoriasis. (The view of the scientific community, it should be said, is mixed.)
To say CBD is trending would be a bit of an understatement — for a while, it has felt like every beauty company and wellness brand was jumping on the bandwagon. Retailers have pointed out that this rush, combined with lack of regulation, means there is a lot of poor-quality CBD merchandise on the market, some of which is simply counterfeit. At Standard Dose, every product is tested on site to ensure maximum potency, and customers are encouraged to play around to find their best fit.
In New York and other places where recreational cannabis use has not been legalized, information about the compound and its legal status can be murky — and the recent implementation of a ban on food and beverages containing CBD has not helped clarify the situation. Education, therefore, is a huge part of the project; Standard Dose employees often find themselves teaching customers about the basics of CBD, with many wandering into the store simply out of curiosity.
A street-level retail area is dedicated to many types of products for the many, many reasons people might be interested in CBD. Standard Dose has its own proprietary tincture — a tasteless, odorless drop that provides a subtle alternative to the, well, danker options — but they also stock premier brands like Plant People, Wildflower, and Mineral. Also on offer are capsules, topical creams, bloodstream patches, massage oils, and more, from insider favorites such as Vertly and Khus + Khus. Eventually, the company hopes to be associated with broader plant-based wellness, stocking other botanicals and supplements and offering programming for those who aren't particularly interested in cannabis.
The Standard Dose flagship officially opened its doors in May, and will be rolling out new offerings throughout the summer. Behind the storefront area, you'll find a calm, light-filled space (complete with digital skylight, which provides surprisingly realistic "sun" to the ground floor) that serves as a meditation room. After a session, guests are invited to sip on a complementary cup of CBD-infused tea, which — I can confirm — prolongs the tranquil mental state for even longer. In the future, the space will serve as a venue for workshops, panel discussions, and other community events.
There's also a rooftop, just opened, with views of the surrounding Flatiron district; free, hour-long yoga classes are offered each morning in the open air. In early fall, the final component of the space will be unveiled: a subterranean spa with a menu of services including anti-inflammatory facials and massages with CBD oil.
Other than the distinctive merchandise — as far as this writer can tell, the store is the first of its kind, at least in the U.S. — the space stands out for its clean, calming, not-quite-millennial-pink design. Standard Dose founder Anthony Saniger has a background in branding, and enlisted New York-based architecture studio SR Projects to make the vision a reality. The restrained color palette and minimalist aesthetic do more than create a sense of mental stillness; here, CBD (and cannabis, more broadly) are not scary, or illicit. Fast Company recently wondered aloud whether this might be the future of wellness; walk into Standard Dose and you might be convinced.