I had the pleasure of meeting Nenna Joiner in early June while visiting Oakland for the NCIA Cannabis Business Summit. During a quick lunch break my curious nature led me to the Feelmore Adult Gallery. More than an average sex shop, Feelmore has an amazing selection of art, vintage books, an open and welcoming vibe. I instantly connected with Nenna, over our shared passion for breaking the stigma around sex and cannabis. In her own words, she writes:
Feelmore Adult Gallery is a sex store concept that I came up with some time ago. We’ve been open a bit over 6 years; located in Oakland, CA…but to be more specific, we are in the Uptown District of Downtown Oakland. For those in the cannabis industry that means a great deal. Physically at 1703 Telegraph Ave. which is across the street from the current Oaksterdam University (and less than a block from the previous Oaksterdam location which was federally raided).
Of course we sell adult products: Condoms, Lube, Vibrators and the like. It’s a rewarding business for me personally as it has changed my life. I don’t have as much sex as I’d like but the joy I get from living out my dreams of selling 14 inch dildos and vibrators is truly rewarding. Adult retail is a high barrier to entry business given the zoning regulation. I believe many of the initial business issues in the adult business are parallel with the cannabis industry: payment card processing, loans/capital, zoning, and banking, among others which is why I read and keep current with cannabis chatter here in Oakland and especially at the State level.
Some of Feelmore’s visitors are Oaksterdam students taking their breaks at Feelmore. I get the opportunity to talk with them a bit about the cannabis industry while they shop for vibrators or kink products. BDSM products seem to be the favorites.
I must say that the money the growers and harvesters spend with us is very green; you can tell if they work in the cannabis industry given the scent on the money
If I had a twenty dollar bill for every time someone asked for cannabis lube, I’d be rich! People truly want something different for sex. Given the ways in which ideas have sprung up around the consumption and use of cannabis, it was only a matter of time before people expected Feelmore to carry the lube. I also believe being in Oakland and being such a different type of sex store, they expect Feelmore to carry the product. However, given our license, the products cannot mix. So, for anyone out there reading this:
Sex stores cannot sell cannabis (THC) anything. Hemp would be the only item added to topical products such as lube and massage oils
The adult industry was once a storied industry that America loved to not talk about! It is now the cannabis industry that reflects the old feelings that were once owned by the sex industry. With the cannabis industries popularity growing due to states embracing legislation and profits, the adult industry has once again been handed a blow (pun intended)!
So from someone in the sex industry to those in the cannabis industry: Think about partnering with Feelmore to create topical especially lubricant or even creating a strain with our name. I believe this is why I stay so connected to the legislative climate in cannabis because it’s happening fast whether you want it to or not! Besides, Amazon can’t take over the cannabis industry…oh wait and hold that thought!