11/24/19 By DAN ULLOA
The Maplewood Hemp market featured vendors selling a wide variety of hemp and CBD products on a rainy Sunday to a steady stream of customers who seemed fascinated by the products that included health oils, smokable CBD, creams to soothe pain, infused dips, gummies, soaps, and many others.
A great deal of the customers including older adults were interested in the nuances of the products including the many health benefits of CBD which is naturally grown without pesticides.
One of the main vendors at the hemp market was Parkside CBD, owned by Tim Kellenyi. Parkside is a Maplewood-based business selling CBD flowers of various types of balms. Kellenyi actually grew up in Maplewood and has strong ties to the town which he described as supportive of his business and open-minded.
He previously worked in Northern California for several years in different areas of the cannabis industry. With the change in the laws on both the state and federal levels, it seemed like a good idea to Kellenyi to come back to New Jersey with the knowledge he gained out there.
The company is named for Memorial Park in Maplewood, next to the train station in downtown.
“Back in the day, you asked your friends what side of the train station you were on, town side or park side,” Kellenyi explained. “Me and my friends all liked to hang out in the park. So park side was always the answer. Those days were formative for me. So I wanted to bring my aspirations back to my hometown.”
He explained that the Mapleleaf logo of his company was inspired in part by Maplewood and Maples’ connotations and connection with Vermont where secures the majority of his supplies.
The business is brand-new since Parkside only officially started in January.
“We have seen so much change in the industry,” Kellenyi said about his time in business, noting the need to stay on top of the changes and waves felt in the industry.
The hemp market was jointly hosted by Parkside CBD and Green Passion Industries. They held an event in Maplewood earlier this year in the spring and sponsored the NE CANN after-party in Atlantic City in September.
Kellenyi noted it’s a good way to promote the industry as a whole and to help other small businesses build mutual support.
Green Passion Industries is actually opening a store next week in Millburn under the name Garden State Hemp.
Budding Biz in the Hemp Market
Another interesting business vending their goods was Wacky Tobaccy, an Asbury Park-based smoke shop that started out as the dream of two best friends named Michael Attiannese and Danny Orrichio who wanted to quit their 9-5 jobs. Now they have a shop on Cookman Avenue.
They decided to locate their business in Asbury Park because of its reputation as a hub of the arts and culture. Moreover, since Asbury Park is expected to be a center of the industry, it seemed a natural fit.
“Every customer is happy, friendly, and doesn’t have a problem,” Orrichio said, noting the best part of the job in stark contrast to his position with All-State Insurance.
They sold quite a variety of products at the hemp market including CBD products, a range of glass pipes made by local craftspeople, smoke trays, rolling trays, and little mats with intricate geometric designs made by a company called Mood Mats from recycled wetsuits that protects a table from potential damage.
Attianese and Orricihio have been friends for 20 years since they were both teenagers growing up on Staten Island. Orrichio actually married Attianese’s other very close friend.
The spirit of their logo and shop was actually influenced by the Nickelodeon cartoons of the 1990s.