A tweet by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins caught the owners of CBD oil and vape shops off guard Wednesday.
“Vape shops and sellers of CBD oil are not essential businesses,” Jenkins wrote.
The shops were declared non-essential because their products can be purchased online, Dallas County spokeswoman Lauren Trimble said.
Vape shops and sellers of CBD oil are not essential businesses.
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) March 25, 2020
Many of the county’s CBD oil and vape businesses are deciding what to do next. Some were unaware of Jenkins’ declaration, and still operating curbside service Wednesday morning. Others had already closed their shops and were only selling merchandise online.
“I would disagree with the statement that we’re not essential,” said Dafna Revah, owner of CBD KRATOM.
Over the last few days, Revah said, she’s heard from several customers who were worried that her shop would be forced to close.
“This, for them, is completely essential in their lives,” Revah said of her shop’s products.
Revah’s shop has pivoted to online sales. They’re also working to set up appointments over the phone to explain to customers the effects of their products and how to use them.
“We’re scrambling,” Revah said. “We’re going to do our best to weather the storm.”
Erin Freeman, owner of Good Vapes, said she’s been working to transition her business to online sales, while helping her 5-year-old adapt to online classes.
“It’s a confusing time,” Freeman said.
Like CBD KRATOM, Freeman said, her shop is also working to set up over-the-phone appointments to help customers troubleshoot issues with vape pens and other items.
Freeman said her shop saw a spike in business before Dallas County’s shelter-at-home order forced more businesses to close.
“[Now] it’s literally been just a handful of customers,” Freeman said of store traffic since the order has been in place.
The transition to online-only sales will be difficult both for her business and her customers, Freeman said, noting that customers often come in with many questions that are easier to explain in person.
“The things we sell you can’t get anywhere else,” Freeman said. “You can’t get that at a 7-Eleven.”