Hemp is here

Hempful Farms opens in Chico; so long to Enjoy Teriyaki; get ready for Casino Chico

Some people may not realize that, aside from providing a framework for legalizing the sale, etc., of cannabis for adult use, Proposition 64 also opened the door for hemp products, formerly forbidden for sale in California. Know what that also means? Oils, tinctures, capsules and all manner of other hemp and CBD products—which do not contain THC, meaning they won’t get you high—are now free to be sold here.

The first company to fully jump into the Chico market (there are a few other places that sell hemp products) is Hempful Farms. Based in Phoenix, the business sells its products in stores across the country. The Chico shop—on Cohasset Road, next to Sushi Burrito King—was opened by the owners of the Phoenix store, Chris and Andi Martin, and is managed by Andi’s cousin Chelsea Smith, a yoga instructor in town, and her uncle Rick Killingsworth. The grand opening was last week (June 1), and I popped in to check it out.

There are a few display cases filled with products, a shelf with some samplers and racks with a selection of hempwear like purses and T-shirts. Smith was super friendly and happy to explain the concept. First and foremost, they offer natural treatments for ailments such as pain, anxiety and inflammation. Also for sale: products for pets, under the moniker Paw Puddy. Smith also hopes to become an information center for people to learn more about hemp.

The store is celebrating Hemp Awareness Week this week (June 4-10) with product giveaways and speakers.

Another farewell May 31 marked the end for Enjoy Teriyaki, Chico’s only Korean restaurant. I got a tip about the closure and was able to swing by for one final bowl of bibimbap, and I chatted briefly with owner John Chuen, quite possibly the smiliest, sweetest shop owner in town. He informed me that he’s ready to retire. He plans to move back to Chicago, which he called home before moving to Yuba City decades ago. He opened Enjoy Teriyaki in 2013. Anyone ready to fill the Korean cuisine void? Bring it!

Care to gamble? I stopped in to Quackers Fire Grill and Bar last week after seeing a new sign added to the street marquee advertising Casino Chico “coming soon.” Sure enough, the place is in the full swing of construction. A sign warns patrons that Crystal Billiards—the pool bar that shares Quackers’ building—will be closed on Sundays and Mondays while they finish the work. They’re hoping to open Casino Chico this month.

Kudos Apollo Olive Oil, out of Oregon House, wins awards frequently for its variety of oils and vinegars. Well, 2018 has been a good year for them. Their oils have won four gold medals so far, for its Sierra and Gold series oils in competitions ranging from the California State Fair to the New York International Olive Oil Competition, the most recent. Nice job, Apollo. Keep up the good work.