Hemp plant

PRINCETON — A downtown building’s sale has forced a local hemp products business to start seeking a new location where it can open a store and offer its merchandise locally.

Ryan and Laura Brooks, who own Coal Country Cannabis, were scheduled to appear June 19 before the Princeton Board of Zoning Appeals about a proposal to operate a hemp dispensary on Mercer Street. The hearing did not take place because the building was sold, so now the business’s owners are seeking a new location.

“They sold the building,” Laura Brooks said. “They wanted us to put a deposit down and we said that we would if it was refundable. We didn’t want to do that (deposit) if it was not approved. We can’t start off in the hole. We’re just devastated because we loved the building.”

Now a new location is being sought. The company sells its products now at other locations, but the Brooks said that they wanted to open a storefront, too.

“We’re still looking for a place,” she said. “We haven’t found anything yet, but we’re still looking.”

When the zoning board meeting was scheduled, City Clerk Kenneth E. Clay said the city didn’t have a category for stores offering hemp products.

“We haven’t been confronted with this before, so we had to put it into the category of getting a variance,” Clay said then.

Ryan Brooks said when the hearing was scheduled that his business would sell products made from hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products. CBD products derived from marijuana are illegal, but CBD products derived from hemp are legal. CBD “doesn’t get you intoxicated at all, basically,” he added.

“Everything we’ll be carrying from our store is hemp derived,” Ryan Brooks stated. “We’ll be carrying hemp and hemp-derived products.”

He later said that the store would not be “a head shop.”

“We’re not going to have bongs all around or anything like that,” Ryan Brooks said.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com