CBD entrepreneur opens shop in Wallingford
WALLINGFORD — After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Brayan Valencia opened his second business, The Local Market LLC, this year to continue helping others with similar scenarios.
“I was given access to medical marijuana and it made me feel really good,” he said. “I wanted others to feel the same.”
The local market is home to his other business, Quality over Quantity CBD, which Valencia says is one of the few Mexican-owned cannabis companies in the area. He says his primary target consumers for his business are typically Mexican and Latino; Wallingford has a large Mexican community and surrounding towns such as Meriden have a large Puerto Rican community.
In 2019, Quality over Quantity CBD opened an online store in an office in Hamden, shipping products directly to consumers. In June this year, Valencia opened a new point of sale where customers can visit and see the products.
The young entrepreneur hasn’t done any marketing for his business since planning a grand opening in the spring.
In addition to CBD products, The Local Market partners with other Connecticut small businesses selling their products. The market sells items like mugs and rolling trays. “I have a rack out front where other small businesses can leave their cards,” Valencia said. “I also like collaborating with small artists.
Some of the products it sells are hemp ground coffee, hemp oil, hemp gummies, hemp joints, and hemp CBD cream.
He also sells pet products such as CBD dog treats that can be an option for treating social and separation anxiety.
“We don’t sell marijuana products,” Valencia says. “We sell hemp products.”
Although hemp and marijuana come from cannabis sativa, there are differences. Hemp contains 0.3% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the psychoactive component responsible for the “high” sensation traditionally associated with marijuana. Marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, which means someone can get high from ingesting it, Michigan State University explained in its report. website.
When starting her business, Valencia says her parents didn’t understand the idea.
“At first we didn’t understand, but as Brayan started the process of opening up, he started educating us about it,” Valencia’s father Marco Valencia said.
Valencia’s parents came to the United States from Jiquilpan, Michoacán, Mexico in 1992. They were both undocumented until six years ago when they were granted residency. According to Brayan Valencia, growing up with undocumented parents was difficult and described it as “living in fear 24/7”.
“I would be so scared that one day my parents would be kicked out and I would come home and they wouldn’t be there,” he said.
His father, Marco, says it was hard to live undocumented because he had to connect with people to find jobs that didn’t require social security like landscaping and construction.
Since getting their residency, Erika Valencia, Brayan Valencia’s mother, says it’s less stressful. She now has a driver’s license and is not afraid of being stopped by the police.
Brayan Valencia feels relieved to know that his parents will not be deported.
“Right now I’m so proud of my son for what he’s achieved,” said Erika Valencia. “There were tear-filled days and nights where I fell asleep without eating to get here. We will always be there to support him with whatever he needs.
Although its grand opening won’t take place until spring next year, Valencia is hosting events for the community.
On October 30, the local market held a Halloween Puff and Carve party. Another event that takes place daily from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Puff & Paint for ages 21 and older. The event includes all paint supplies and a free hemp joint for $25.
For more information about The Local Market LLC and events, visit https://www.localmarketllc.com/.
Journalist Crystal Elescano can be reached at [email protected]