‘Not The Devil’s Lettuce,’ Waukesha CBD Dispensary Owner Says

WAUKESHA, WI—”We didn’t want to be just a CBD place,” said Aleks Gerasyuta, the co-founder of Beyond Full Spectrum in Waukesha.

Beyond Full Spectrum, located at 300 W Main St., was nominated for Waukesha Patch’s Business of the Year. The co-founders, Gerasyuta and Michelle La Count, also opened a CBD dispensary store last year in Whitefish Bay. Gerasyuta told Patch the store’s customers are very loyal and often recommend their business to others.

The owners believe in the potential of holistic options and presenting them to everyday people in a clean, comfortable, no-pressure environment where the top goal is education. The store carries CBD extract in oils, edibles, lotions, coffees, bath bombs, energy drinks, and more.

CBD is a non-high-inducing relative of marijuana. CBD is extracted from hemp, but by law, it must contain less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive THC component found in marijuana.

“Since day one, one of the pillars of our company was quality over profit. That will always be our pillar,” Gerasyuta told Patch, adding that some people jump into the industry as a “money grab.”

Beyond Full Spectrum wanted to ensure customers could rely on them for the highest quality and most products are grown, processed, and made in Wisconsin.

“We try to keep as much of the revenue and money here in Wisconsin. That is how we can support the strong economy of the state,” Gerasyuta said.

The store’s layout is in the style of an apothecary.

“We wanted to make sure if church goers see you walking out of our store, they won’t think people are smoking weed,” Gerasyuta joked.

He said many of his customers are middle-aged up to 90 years old who rely on the products for health reasons.

“It makes sense, because when you are younger not a lot of things hurt,” Gerasyuta said.

The products are not just for humans but also for dogs.

Gerasyuta said he had a customer’s dog with joint issues who was on the verge of being put down. The customer used some CBD oil or treats and got an another 6-12 months with their pet. He told Patch, you “can’t put a value on that.”

Pandemic solutions

The pandemic has created unique struggles for retailers and especially for the two co-founders.

“Many businesses are struggling. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” Gerasyuta told Patch.

The store, considered non-essential, was shut down in March due to Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer At Home order. The store sprung to action by offering free local deliveries, curbside delivery and contactless payment options.

“When we were allowed to reopen, we put sanitizing stations at both stores and all employees wore masks,” he said.

Drop-offs are offered for high-risk customers who don’t want to go into a retail environment. It was something the co-founders didn’t consider until the pandemic.

“We are rebounding and have amazing and loyal customers,” Gerasyuta said.

‘Education is key’

The co-founders — Gerasyuta and La Count — share a common vision – and that is to build a business based on honesty, integrity, and education.

Gerasyuta said sometimes people buy products and don’t know how to use it and the best way to approach things. That is where the co-founders come in.

“Whenever it is a new customer or a returning customer, we always tell them the best way to take a product for their desired result,” he told Patch.

Gerasyuta said it is the education they provide that makes them stand out.

He used the example of a customer who took CBD gummies and didn’t get the desired result.

“We explain the absorption rate on the edibles is lower than it is on– for let’s say inhalables or oils. We suggest they take a different approach,” Gerasyuta said.

While some products don’t work because of the ingredients, Gerasyuta said it also can come down to approach. He used the example of not swallowing a product but putting it under the tongue.

“Education is always key,” he told Patch.

Education is also necessary to get rid of the stigma attached to CBD products, according to Gerasyuta.

“When store owners are educating the consumer that there is a big difference between hemp and marijuana products that eliminates the stigma,” Gerasyuta said.

He added education is the key to prove CBD products are not “the devil’s lettuce.”

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