A new Hoboken CBD store called “Garden Street Hemp” recently opened. They’re showing people in the busy Mile City the benefits of CBD and hemp.
Located at 103 Garden Street, it was launched by New Jersey native Michael Diaz who was raised in Morris County. He recently returned from living abroad in Uruguay, where cannabis was legalized.
“I saw it was lagging here, I needed a change of pace,” Diaz said about the move to the South American nation. “I got to meet a lot of cool people in the industry who moved there.”
“Down there, I got to just enjoy the slow pace,” Diaz said.
He thought eventually, the West Coast-based legalization movement would come to New Jersey.
“I saw the opportunities in New Jersey to offer people a way to get into the cannabis, hemp world,” Diaz said. “I got super excited the state was going to legalize.”
“I’m hoping in November people go out to vote,” Diaz added regarding the referendum.
He was happy that the benefits of therapeutic cannabis and adult-use have become more widely known. Diaz believes hemp has many possibilities, including displacing oil, as the basis for many products.
“For now, I’m … CBD centered,” Diaz said. He did note there will be opportunities once cannabis is fully legal.
A Welcoming Hoboken CBD Store
Diaz’s shop was not designed to appeal to diehard cannabis enthusiasts primarily.
“I wanted my shop to be not as in your face,” Diaz said.
Diaz said the tone is far more subdued than you’d expect, yet still inviting. For example, the jars of hemp flower are a bit darker than usual. Diaz believes he is helping break the taboo of hemp and cannabis.
“I hope the store gets a lot of foot traffic, people can feel free and comfortable to come in, they could bring kids and not feel it’s a seedy place,” Diaz said.
Diaz said regarding cannabis that it was “something that was scary and taboo that’s coming into the light, you don’t have too hush-hush about it.”
“We know for a lot of people it’s a big decision,” he said. “We want to be that type of outlet for people to slowly wade in.”
Variety of Products
Diaz’s Hoboken CBD store carries all manner of varieties of hemp and CBD products. That includes hemp flower, pre-rolls, American-made glass, chocolates, peanut butter cups, caramel turtles, caramel pretzel chocolates, gummy bears, chews, gummies with melatonin for sleep, teas, and other beverages,
Diaz is trying to source products from small organic farms in Colorado, New Mexico, Vermont, and New Jersey. The Hoboken CBD store’s hemp flower is currently from Oregon. Diaz is looking for local sources too. Many of the CBD products have QR codes to help people check certificates of analysis.
“I want to give a good representation of what the hemp plant can offer from fiber to food to clothing, paper, products,” Diaz said.
The Hoboken CBD store also touts a touch-screen self-serve coffee machine that used CBD infused coffee beans. In the winter, Diaz said he will introduce hot cocoa and products for younger kids that pair well, like CBD chocolate, along with plain chocolate.
Diaz’s Hoboken CBD store also carries bath balms, creams, salves for muscles, and candles. They also have a dog section with chews for calming and bone joints, sprays for hot spots, products for itchy paws, and dog toys made of hemp rope and hemp.
Diaz is excited about the possibilities of making food from nutritious hemp seeds. His most ambitious product will be something he created, a hemp-based empanada, the hempanada. He even registered the trademark.
“My family is Columbia and Cuban, so I was definitely inspired by the Latin flavors. My grandma made some really good empanadas. Definitely not with hemp,” he joked.
Diaz said Hoboken is an area with great foot traffic. Due to its proximity to New York City, it is often referred to as the “sixth borough.”
“I’ve always liked the area. It’s definitely a good location, close to Washington Street,” Diaz said, referring to the main thoroughfare in Hoboken.
“There were no CBD stores initially. I don’t mind friendly competition,” Diaz said regarding the crop of similar stores opening.
In the future, Diaz said he would love to sell gift baskets and open more locations.