CBD Store Prohibited by Landlord from Displaying Cannabis Leaf Signage

As if the title doesn’t make one facepalm enough yet, this is even happening in a state which has already legalized recreational marijuana.

CBD brand CBD Kratom, a chain with 27 stores in 3 states — 10 of which in Chicago, Illinois — is a popular CBD destination, selling mostly CBD products with barely any THC (<0.3%) to be compliant with the farm bill. Store visitors can find most common CDB-products such as tincture, candy, hemp joints, dried CBD flowers and wax.

CBD Kratom also sells Kratom. Despite reports that Kratom may be responsible for deaths, the FDA has never banned the SouthEast Asian plant which has sedative and psychotropic effects. Kratom can easily be found online, and also in one of the many CBD Kratom stores or via its online store.

Landlord is Prohibitionist [Euphemism!], Store Counters

In what seems an utter act of sheer stupidity — yes, we carry a solid bias here at BeSmoke HQ — the store has been prohibited by its landlord from using its own trademarked sign at its new Chicago Loop location because it contains a cannabis leaf.

Currently only a sign in the window was available, no sign on the building itself yet as the store operators are still waiting to obtain a sign permit from the city.

CBD Kratom, offering only legal products, was quick to counter the attitude and filed a suit in federal court in Chicago for breach of contract. The suit claims the owners/managers of the building refused to approve the signage “and specifically made references to the signage as promoting marijuana usage”.

The store further highlights that the building managers made statements CBD Kratom “was engaged in illicit activities, specifically the promotion and sale of marijuana and marijuana-related products”.

CBD Kratom refutes all claims and goes on the offense, seeking $250,000 in damages.

”Without the use of the sign, which is the trademark of the plaintiff’s brand, plaintiff will suffer economic harm in the form of lost revenue as a result of not being able to use its brand”

A lawyer for the defending building owner, 4 garages, rejected the suit’s case: “The lawsuit is baseless and we will be defending it in court“.

Recreational cannabis was made legal earlier this year in the state of Illinois. Although the Chicago major Lori Lightfoot has expressed plans to keep dispensaries out of the downtown, including the Loop area.

Stigma and Duct Tape

Renting out retail estate to a cannabis brand would come with the obvious promotion of the plant, at least in its hemp state, and further logical connotations due to CBD originating from the same plant as cannabis. Thus for the landlord to then prohibit any signage referencing the origin seems ludicrous.

But it is even more baffling an icon — the 7 leaf cannabis sign — is immediately connected to apparent subsequent illegal activity, or the promotion thereof, as alleged in the suit.

Here at BeSmoke.xyz our own bias and advocacy to #EndProhibition can bring up but one obvious thought. A thought expressed best with signage.


Whatever they were smoking over at 4 Garages, we don’t want any of it.

Note: We did our best to not call the landlords “prohibitionists” but, obviously, we failed. We refer to their utterly unbelievable act as inspiration for our failure.

Leadpic credit: Photo by Brian Munoz for St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This post was first submitted to and published on the Smoke blockchain.


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