CBD shop Kultivate Wellness shutters Short Pump store, expands to N.C. as new Va. law takes effect

kulturenew scaled

Evan Somogyi, founder and owner of CBD shop Kultivate Wellness. (BizSense file)

A local chain of CBD stores has closed one location and expanded outside the state as more-restrictive hemp regulations go into effect in Virginia.

Earlier this month, Kultivate Wellness shuttered its store at 12171 W. Broad St., in the GreenGate development in Short Pump.

Owner Evan Somogyi said the exit was driven by new regulations that took effect July 1 that changed the definition of what’s considered legal hemp products in Virginia, a shift that rendered much of his inventory illegal.

“That area is a really cool area but it was never really great for retail. When we finally started to have good numbers there, basically everything we sold we weren’t able to (sell) anymore,” Somogyi said of the GreenGate shop, adding that he lucked out and was able to sell his lease on the space to a laser hair removal studio.

Under the new laws, hemp products can have no more than 0.3 percent total THC concentration. Legal hemp products also must have no more than 2 milligrams of total THC per package or an amount of CBD no less than 25 times greater than the package’s THC total amount, among other new rules. The new legislation also created a requirement that retail businesses get permits to sell hemp products.

“Virginia is just not supporting the hemp industry at all and we just decided to pull out and head somewhere it is being supported,” he said.

That somewhere is just outside Littleton, North Carolina. Somogyi said he transported his CBD inventory that’s now illegal to sell in Virginia across state lines to stock his North Carolina outpost on Lake Gaston. The store operates under the Kultivate name and is now open.

Somogyi landed in that part of North Carolina, which is just across the Virginia border and southwest of Emporia, because he has ties to the area. It’s a long-running family vacation spot and where his wife grew up.

The other Kultivate outpost at 13140 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield remains operational, and now sells CBD products compliant with the new Virginia regulations. Somogyi expected that store, the original Kultivate that opened in late 2018, would continue to operate.

“I think Midlothian will be fine. Our rent isn’t too crazy and we have an established clientele. The products we are able to sell and ship from that location, even just in the week (since the new law went into effect), it’s been good,” he said in an interview Friday.

But while Kultivate intends to maintain its presence in Chesterfield, Somogyi has nixed his plans for an expansion of his other business, Kulture Smoke and Vape, in the county.

Somogyi is seeking a buyer or tenant for a 1-acre property at 10150 Hull St., which he once eyed for a future Kulture outpost. He hoped the spot would also be his entry point into a future recreational marijuana market.

But those plans were made before Chesterfield officials last year denied a building permit tied to a proposed medical marijuana dispensary near Chesterfield Towne Center, and prior to the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors approving new local regulations on CBD and vape shops in the county.

“Obviously (Chesterfield officials) don’t want any stores like mine opening anymore. They’re not going to let anybody open a dispensary of any kind while marijuana is federally illegal,” Somogyi said.

While it is legal for people in Virginia to consume recreational marijuana, as well as grow and possess small amounts of it, it remains illegal to sell recreational pot. The only legal pot sellers in Virginia are a few companies involved in the state’s medical marijuana program. Earlier this year, the General Assembly failed to pass legislation that would have teed up a recreational market.

Kulture has four locations in the region selling mainly smoking paraphernalia. Somogyi said he didn’t have plans to shutter those stores.

Kultivate is the second retailer to leave GreenGate this month, as the center’s Lidl grocery store is scheduled to close Sunday.

kulturenew scaled

Evan Somogyi, founder and owner of CBD shop Kultivate Wellness. (BizSense file)

A local chain of CBD stores has closed one location and expanded outside the state as more-restrictive hemp regulations go into effect in Virginia.

Earlier this month, Kultivate Wellness shuttered its store at 12171 W. Broad St., in the GreenGate development in Short Pump.

Owner Evan Somogyi said the exit was driven by new regulations that took effect July 1 that changed the definition of what’s considered legal hemp products in Virginia, a shift that rendered much of his inventory illegal.

“That area is a really cool area but it was never really great for retail. When we finally started to have good numbers there, basically everything we sold we weren’t able to (sell) anymore,” Somogyi said of the GreenGate shop, adding that he lucked out and was able to sell his lease on the space to a laser hair removal studio.

Under the new laws, hemp products can have no more than 0.3 percent total THC concentration. Legal hemp products also must have no more than 2 milligrams of total THC per package or an amount of CBD no less than 25 times greater than the package’s THC total amount, among other new rules. The new legislation also created a requirement that retail businesses get permits to sell hemp products.

“Virginia is just not supporting the hemp industry at all and we just decided to pull out and head somewhere it is being supported,” he said.

That somewhere is just outside Littleton, North Carolina. Somogyi said he transported his CBD inventory that’s now illegal to sell in Virginia across state lines to stock his North Carolina outpost on Lake Gaston. The store operates under the Kultivate name and is now open.

Somogyi landed in that part of North Carolina, which is just across the Virginia border and southwest of Emporia, because he has ties to the area. It’s a long-running family vacation spot and where his wife grew up.

The other Kultivate outpost at 13140 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield remains operational, and now sells CBD products compliant with the new Virginia regulations. Somogyi expected that store, the original Kultivate that opened in late 2018, would continue to operate.

“I think Midlothian will be fine. Our rent isn’t too crazy and we have an established clientele. The products we are able to sell and ship from that location, even just in the week (since the new law went into effect), it’s been good,” he said in an interview Friday.

But while Kultivate intends to maintain its presence in Chesterfield, Somogyi has nixed his plans for an expansion of his other business, Kulture Smoke and Vape, in the county.

Somogyi is seeking a buyer or tenant for a 1-acre property at 10150 Hull St., which he once eyed for a future Kulture outpost. He hoped the spot would also be his entry point into a future recreational marijuana market.

But those plans were made before Chesterfield officials last year denied a building permit tied to a proposed medical marijuana dispensary near Chesterfield Towne Center, and prior to the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors approving new local regulations on CBD and vape shops in the county.

“Obviously (Chesterfield officials) don’t want any stores like mine opening anymore. They’re not going to let anybody open a dispensary of any kind while marijuana is federally illegal,” Somogyi said.

While it is legal for people in Virginia to consume recreational marijuana, as well as grow and possess small amounts of it, it remains illegal to sell recreational pot. The only legal pot sellers in Virginia are a few companies involved in the state’s medical marijuana program. Earlier this year, the General Assembly failed to pass legislation that would have teed up a recreational market.

Kulture has four locations in the region selling mainly smoking paraphernalia. Somogyi said he didn’t have plans to shutter those stores.

Kultivate is the second retailer to leave GreenGate this month, as the center’s Lidl grocery store is scheduled to close Sunday.

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Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
10 months ago

Just a reminder, marijuana is NOT legal in Virginia. Small personal quantities and possession of a couple of plants were decriminalized at the state level so that penalty is zero. Even under federal law medical dispensaries are still illegal. It is still a schedule 1 drug which means it has no legal use even in medicine. As of May 2023, Congress failed again to move it to schedule 2 drug that would make legal from medical use. Wish we could get some Congressional action.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
10 months ago

It’s fitting the news of this CBD business closing and moving out of state due to the GOP’s legislation happened on the same day we are unable to recapture our status as the #1 state for business. Hopefully at some point legislation will pass to make marijuana legal and our own state will get out of the way of making marijuana the boogie man. It seems like we will need a new General Assembly and a new Governor, though, since Youngkin came out this week against legalized marijuana sales.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
10 months ago

We always get a new governor ever four years, you can’t succeed yourself in Virginia.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
10 months ago

I’m aware. I point it out since prior to this month Youngkin had given his typical non-answer for marijuana legalization. I’m tired of him always thinking about his future run for POTUS, since he has forgotten he needs to do a good job as Virginia’s governor first. It’s frustrating because marijuana legalization would be great for Virginia businesses and it is quite popular nationally and in Virginia per polling.