First CBD store in Santa Monica opens on Main Street
Santa Monica’s first CBD retailer is now open on Main Street.
Life Bloom Organics occupies an airy space reminiscent of a yoga studio, with a meditation area in the corner and an amiable wellness expert dressed in flowing linen behind the counter. Behind the tranquil showroom, a dozen people are hard at work developing and marketing a line of high-tech CBD sprays, tablets and topicals.
There are a dizzying variety of CBD products available today. Manufacturers purport that the hemp-derived compound, which isn’t intoxicating, can relieve pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
“People have been able to transition from intense sleeping aids to CBD, use it to help with PMS or ease aches and pains so they can stay active,” said Ryan Rocca, who founded Life Bloom Organics in Malibu three years ago.
But because CBD products are not yet subject to federal oversight, consumers typically don’t know what’s in their candy, soap or pills.
That’s not the case with Life Bloom, Rocca said. The company operates its own organic farm and manufacturing lab, tests its products for contaminants and publishes the ingredients in its products.
Rocca said Life Bloom is preparing for the CBD industry of the future — it’s estimated the industry will be worth $20 billion in 2024 — not the burgeoning, unregulated industry that exists today.
“Right now, we’re not legally required to do any of this testing or labeling. We’re going way above and beyond in terms of the time and energy and money we’ve put into it,” said chief marketing officer Rachel Andersson. “When the regulations do catch up, we’ll already be compliant.”
Life Bloom sells five CBD formulas that address different concerns, such as sleeplessness, PMS symptoms and muscle recovery. Each has a unique set of ingredients — the sleep formula contains melatonin and valerian root, while the PMS formula incorporates magnesium and vitamin B6.
Rocca said Life Bloom’s oral sprays are its most popular product. The company’s chemist engineered them to absorb into the body more quickly than other products on the market, he said. They cost $35 to $40, while tablets and topicals cost between $42 and $45.
The store incorporates more than just Life Bloom products, however. Customers can find other types of CBD products from partner brands, participate in wellness classes and shop eco-chic apparel.
Rocca said he thinks combining a focus on wellness and lifestyle with a scientific approach will resonate with the store’s Westside clientele. He added he picked Main Street for the brand’s first brick-and-mortar location because of its surf and skate culture heritage. Life Bloom’s products are popular with outdoor athletes, who use them to improve muscle recovery after workouts, he said.
“This stretch of Main Street is the hidden gateway to that lifestyle,” he said.
But Life Bloom’s products aren’t just for athletes, Andersson said. The company is trying to appeal to a wider variety of consumers than other CBD brands, most of which target a young, affluent, active demographic.
“The over 50 demographic, which is huge, is getting totally ignored,” she said. “But they’re the generation that normalized weed, so they’re really open to CBD. They want it, and they want to learn what the new developments are.”
The brand’s first retail location will allow customers and potential customers to learn about CBD in an interactive way, she said.
“Everyone who works at the store is a trained expert who can answer anybody’s questions,” Andersson said. “We’re excited as that first retailer in Santa Monica to be able to educate people who have been wondering about CBD.”
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