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At first glance, the CBDeelite store in the 32nd Street suburban mall just outside Great Promise, Kansas, looks like many of its kind – visibly suffering from slow sales in a market whose short-lived boom seems to be over.

But this outlet for CBD, hemp and other non-THC products, established in 2019, has received a rare international honour that means it is likely to survive far longer than its counterparts.

CBDeelite has today (1st April) been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), in an effort to preserve some of the CBD era for future generations.

“Venturing into CBDeelite is like stepping back in time,” said Avril Poisson, one of the UNESCO heritage inspectors responsible for the recognition of the Kansas store.

“Of course, most of it is in ruins – well, its business model is, anyway. But you only have to close your eyes to imagine the days long past when teeming throngs of citizens, humble and exalted alike, trod its aisles and haggled with merchants over the latest fine CBD products from lands near and far. You can almost smell the CBD-and-patchouli-infused candles that would have adorned these mighty thoroughfares, their bar codes gleaming in the golden light.”

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    Although CBDeelite is in fact illuminated by white LED strips, several of them not working and one emitting an irritating buzz which during this reporter’s visit caused the sole customer to walk out without making a purchase, Poisson suggested that they were likely golden in the days of the store’s glory.

    She added that in any case twinkling sparkles of golden light would have been reflected off the gold coins that changed hands in the bustling bazaar where CBD products were sold alongside headdresses made from ostrich feathers and ornately carved figurines of now-forgotten deities, awe-inspiring in their savage mystery.

    While this specific point may be debatable, what is indisputable is that much remains to be discovered about CBDeelite. Large parts of the store are buried under tens of thousands of coupons for free CBD wet wipes, poignantly never handed out before disaster struck, and many years of painstaking excavation will be required to unearth whatever treasures might be concealed in its eerily empty corners.

    Among the artefacts that archaeologists will be seeking is the fabled Scroll of the Seven Agencies, believed to contain long-lost plans for coherent federal regulation of cannabis and hemp products. But even if that proves to be nothing more than a myth, their work at CBDeelite will surely help bring to life an era that to many seems unimaginably distant.

    – Indy Jones CannIntelligence lost worlds editor

    Photo: RDNE Stock project

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    This article was written by one of CannIntelligence’s international correspondents. We currently employ more than 40 reporters around the world to cover individual cannabis and cannabinoid markets. For a full list, please see our Who We Are page.