PACE — The first cannabidiol oil store in Pace has opened at 5402 Highway 90.

Your CBD Store Pace, which started doing business April 19, is owned and operated by local resident Paul Konecny, who said up until recently he was ignorant of the oil's benefits.

"I lived a very straight-laced life," Konecny said. "I never smoked a cigarette, drank a beer or did drugs a day in my life."

Konecny said he began to research into CBD and its benefits about a year ago when his father, a CFO in the company's franchise, began telling him about it. He said he was amazed when he realized all of CBD's health benefits.

According to the Federal Drug Administration website, CBD is a non-psychoactive (no high and no anxiety) compound derived from hemp in accordance with FDA regulations.

"It helps with arthritis, PTSD, insomnia, so many things," he said. "We feel like we have a responsibility to spread as much knowledge about CBD as we can to the public, because it does change a lot. It's not a witchcraft thing. It's not a gray area anymore. It is a legitimate science. It does work and it does change lives."

Konecny said he decided to start the store in Pace because he felt it was an ideal location, given the fact that there are many military veterans in the area who could benefit from the store's services. He said that since the store opened he has done well and had lots of visitors and supporters.

"We had a great ribbon cutting with the chamber," he said. "Our product price point is not the lowest in the world ... as the industry grows, I think our prices will fall a little bit, but Pace has already embraced it."

Store trainer Ashley Kayne said she has used CBD oil, applying it topically on joints and other areas, for five months and said it works. She said the important thing for people to do is to research the product to lift its negative perception.

"It's not just oils," Kayne said. "We sell topical creams, we sell pet products, we sell gummies."

For his part, Konecny said he would love people to stop by his store to just say hello and let him talk to them about the products, even if they do not purchase anything.

"I appreciate the community embracing us as much as it is," he said. "Come in and see what we have to offer."

Your CBD Store is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.