For years, Dee Earle Browning of Wading River had trouble sleeping. She tried changing mattresses, medications and used over-the-counter products to get a good night’s rest.
But she hated doing that and knew that taking NyQuil wasn’t the best option for her body. That’s when she delved deep into the world of CBD.
It wasn’t her first time using cannabidiol — an oil that derives from the hemp plant. Browning said for years, she used CBD on her skin — which kept her face glowing and clear. After having back surgery and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she began researching the oil for medicinal and pain-relieving purposes. She and her husband, Lee Browning Jr., wanted to try more holistic approaches to physical, mental and emotional health. She fell in love.
She said that our bodies accept the cannabinoids in CBD products, and in her sleeping situation, the oil has a natural sleep aid that makes her relax at night.
“I learned that CBD is best anywhere on you because we have an endocannabinoid system, we have receptors in our body specifically built for cannabinoids,” she said. “So, I found that once I started doing tinctures, and the topical along with that, there was a lot of relief.”
Browning, who worked in the hospitality industry for two decades with chains like Hilton, Marriott and Holiday Inn, said that during the pandemic, she decided to make a career change that she knew could help other people.
“I always looked at hospitality as an industry of people taking care of people,” she said, “And then COVID happened and our industry got rocked.”
Browning and her husband began researching Your CBD Store, an international franchise that sells products made by SunMed. The company prides itself on using a CO2 extraction process, which eliminates the need for chemical solvents and produces a high-quality, full-spectrum CBD. For their zero-THC broad-spectrum products, the CBD is processed again to remove all traces of THC. Your CBD Store is the retailer that distributes these products.
“I found that those products were made in the USA — from seed soil, soil to oil — it’s all done here,” Browning said.
She added that the Your CBD Store franchise has third-party testing for its products.
“There were so many positives about this company, and I was like, ‘this is what I want to do,’” she said. “I already have a background of being in the industry of taking care of people, but this also feeds my passion for health and wellness.”
Based in Florida, the chain has over 600 affiliates in the U.S. and U.K. There was not one Your CBD Store in Suffolk County. The closest location is currently in Long Beach, along with 22 across the Long Island Sound in Connecticut.
“They’re beautiful stores, and they’re all about educating people about CBD, which was so important to dispel the myths out there,” she added. “I was using it myself and finding results, and the more I read about it, I knew I wanted to be part of the community that dispels some myths and shows that there are some alternative options for health and wellness.”
Browning’s job, not only as the owner of the shop, is to educate each and every customer that walks through her doors. She said people have come in with all different types of ailments — pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Some parents use the products to help their children with ADHD or autism. SunMed even has a pet line to help out stressed cats and dogs.
She takes the time to talk to each person and figure out what the best regimen would be.
“You have receptors in your body specifically for cannabinoids, it’s just figuring out you know how to best produce those cannabinoids,” she said. “It’s also trying out and figuring out what your body actually needs … And making sure you’re taking it in a way that your body is going to absorb it, and it’s going to stay in your system longer.”
Founded by owner Rachel Quinn, Browning was intrigued by the company because it was owned by a woman who sought out pain relief herself.
“I wanted to bring this to the masses, and I really want people to see how much it has helped me,” she said. “It was great because it was founded by a woman in pain and then her desire to share it with everyone. That for me, was so empowering being a woman and a woman of color to have the opportunity to follow in her footsteps and help other people.”
The Port Jefferson Station location opened up on July 12, with an official ribbon cutting hosted by the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce on July 23. The store is located at 590 Patchogue Road (Route 112) across from Moloney Funeral Home in what was once the former location of a Jack in the Box restaurant.
Browning said that her husband bought the property a few years ago, and nothing had moved into the first-floor storefront. A developer, he helped give the space a facelift, painting and redoing it to give it a beachy spa vibe.
“We want a space that really is welcoming, inviting and makes people feel comfortable to share the challenges that they’re working through,” she said.
Compared to other CBD retailers, Your CBD Store says it all — it’s there for you.
“Your CBD Store is a company that is all about community. It is all about education. It is all about high-quality products. It is all about health and wellness,” she said. “We focus on getting to know our consumers as they come in, so that we can help them make the right choice for them … That’s important.”
Browning said their goal is to educate people and see if CBD can help change their lives the way it did for Browning and her family.
“If you’ve never had any CBD products, here’s an opportunity to come in and try something,” she said. “Whether it’s a topical for pain, water soluble, a tincture or gummy, all of these are set up every day, so that people can at least try it and see if it gives you some of the relief that you’re looking for.”