Along a Main Street where niche businesses can flourish, one Ottawa establishment is solidifying its own identity as the area’s cannabidiol (CBD) resource.
“We’re here for the long term, God willing,” said Patty Brown. “Everything that we’ve got here has been a blessing from God.”
Brown is one half of the husband-and-wife duo who own and operate Crabtree & Brown, 415-B S Main St, Ottawa. The business sells various forms of CBD and accessories associated with the product. CBD is a non-psychoactive, naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis, and is reportedly used by its advocates to remedy a wide range of ailments — from chronic pain to anxiety and mental disorders, and even drug addiction. According to the Kansas City Star, the Kansas Legislature voted at the end of April to exclude CBD containing no THC (the psycoactive compound in marijuana) from the the state’s definition of marijuana, effectively making CBD legal to buy and sell.
But the story of Crabtree & Brown begins in the world of fashion.
“We opened in June a year ago as a clothing store — we were Crabtree and Brown Apparel,” said Craig Crabtree, Brown’s husband and store co-owner. “We went from full clothing brand to CBD.”
A few months into their business’s opening, the couple faced declining patronage at the end of the year’s fashion season. It was then that a friend recommended they try CBD in their personal lives.
“Me and Patty started researching [CBD] for ourselves around the first of October of last year  to find out what it was all about,” Crabtree said. “We started using it for ourselves for our health issues. We started getting results, and we thought, you know, this is something that everyone needs to have access to, and we can bring it to our local economy.”
“We both have back problems, we both are old, and deal with aches and pains,” said Brown, laughing. “But it worked for us, so we thought ‘Let’s do this for everyone else.’”
The two began the process of reinventing Crabtree & Brown Apparel as a CBD outlet, finishing at the beginning of 2018.
“Now we carry a full line of water solubles, under the tongue tinctures, vape juice, smokables, infused edibles, and all the accessories that go with it,” Brown said. “And we’re always looking for quality brands that we can bring in.”
The business focuses on offering options to new and returning customers, and also educational resources about their products.
“We like to offer customers a choice, just like any other business, instead of just carrying one brand,” Brown said. “And it must be USA. We strive to carry USA made, and not have anything imported at all.”
The two also strive to be open about the legal status and address stigmas attatched to a cannibis constituent like CBD.
“Customers have really accepted the CBD product,” Crabtree said. “We’ve seen growth, and we’ve found that the more people are educated, and they understand what CBD is, then they are more open to it.
“We like when people ask us questions about what CBD is. We like to explain it as much as possible to them.”
For an overview of the information Crabtree & Brown provide to customers, visit www.crabtreeandbrown.com
The couple also shared anecdotes of thankful customers who have tried CBD as a way to counteract debilitating conditions.
“People need these products,” Crabtree said. “We’ll get customers in the door that say ‘I’m so glad you are here,’ just about every day. Some days two or three times a day.”
“[Customers] run from the young, to the old, and everyone in between, because it does help,” Brown said, citing her own relief from chronic pain as well as CBD’s popularly reported positive effect on different mental illnesses. “It can even help people trying to get off of opiods. They are trying to stop the pain medication, and you can’t do that unless you’ve got a backup plan. And CBD can be the backup plan.”
For now, the the couple said they hope to continue to establish themselves with an eye toward growth in the future.
“We want to be a successful business that carries products that are quality,” Crabtree said. “We are constantly searching for quality at more affordable prices. And we’d like to continue to grow — we’d like to open up a second location in the future.”