The wave of curiosity about CBD in the wellness industry continues to swell since interest began spiking in 2017. If you’re interested in CBD products in New York City, chances are you’ve heard of Steven Phan, one of the city's most knowledgeable sources for info on the cannabinoid.
Who is Steven Phan?
Phan is an entrepreneur, cannabis advocate, and educator originally from San Francisco, who moved to New York City with a vision. “I moved here about 14 years ago and the minute I got to New York, I started to try and get into cannabis activism and advocacy,” Phan said about how he got his start in the industry.
That work eventually led to the creation of a lifestyle brand called QuadDeuceNil, which is Latin for 420. The brand was his attempt to encapsulate the culture and legalization efforts of the New York City cannabis community. After finding success in the CBD business early on, he started a printing company called Bodega Ink during the pandemic.
His dedication to cannabis activism has not waned as he currently also serves as the chair of the retail committee for the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association (NYCGPA), in addition to being the co-founder, with Wasseem Ghattas, of Come Back Daily, one of New York City’s first hubs for CBD education and product.
What is Come Back Daily?
What sets Come Back Daily apart from other CBD stores in NYC, aside from being one of the pioneers in the space, is their dedication to demystifying the science behind the plant and educating customers about the potential health benefits. Phan admits that the rapidly evolving industry has given rise to a lot of misinformation, which is why he was determined to create a space where people can learn about cannabidiol properties and actually test out a variety of products that address different needs.
“I saw a window of opportunity in the CBD market. We were probably like one of the second or third CBD stores to open in New York City and we quickly expanded to five stores. Then we were awarded New York's Best CBD Store at the 1st Annual NYC NORML Awards.”
The store’s Discovery Bar is designed to provide customers access to CBD products with the guidance of staff experts right in the store. “Someone came to the store and said, ‘Oh, it's like a Sephora for CBD, you get to try everything.' People have done it before, but it was just you couldn't do it with weed,” he remarked.
Phan continues to be an industry leader in the NYC Hemp and Cannabis spaces. With interest in CBD products continuing to rise, he met with Honeysuckle to educate the curious about how best to choose and maintain the CBD products you need.
Steven Phan Answers Popular Questions About CBD Products
HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: What are the different forms that your CBD products come in?
STEVEN PHAN: They come in every form that I can find out there: vaporizer, tincture, topicals, edibles, and suppositories. Really every category I can think of because I was thinking from a point of "If you're going to approach something new, what are you already used to doing?" That can make it a little more comfortable and relatable. Then I can get them to let their guard down.
How can you tell if it’s time to dispose of CBD products?
There aren't really telltale signs to get rid of it or replace it, I think, unfortunately, because it's already a brown color.
How long do cannabis products last? Do they have a shelf life?
I think most of my products here have a two-year expiration date following traditional CPG (consumer packaged goods) products. But I'd be interested to understand on a true scientific level what that really means. I think if we're storing it properly at the right temperature, in a dark place without the sun to deteriorate the cannabinoids it has to last longer. And I only say that because it’s like plant medicine. I believe strongly that it protects itself and so long as it's not too crazy of a formulation with all these different additives.
What are some tips and tricks you can offer a novice customer on what to do with their edible CBD products once they get home?
The first step is to understand your goal. Whether you want to relieve mental, physical, or sleep issues. Then you're going to start small and work your way up. My favorite example is to remember the first time you explore alcohol. You figure out the sweet spot where you start to feel buzzed. Then you got another sweet spot where you're a little bit tipsy. Then you have another sweet spot that is like Vegas mode.
So if we take that and we flip it to health and wellness, you have your first sweet spot and it's going to relieve the mental stuff. Your second and third sweet spots are going to be pain and sleep aides based on your tolerance. But everyone's different. You have some friends that can drink three glasses of wine and they're still in that first sweet spot, and I drink a glass of wine and I'm like asleep. So everyone's got a different sweet spot and we have to be patient enough to figure that out. With prescription pills, someone in a lab already figured that out.
But here's the thing. After selling CBD, I realize everyone's got a different dose and it makes me wonder how pharmaceuticals are the second-largest grossing industry but we still can’t get custom-dosed medication.