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BizSense Beat: Oct. 13, 2023

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BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of Oct. 13, 2023:

Local shops hit with fines for CBD products after new law takes effect
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

Richmond area businesses are among the companies that have been fined for noncompliance with hemp and CBD product regulations in the first three months after they took effect in Virginia.

The new rules put into place July 1 changed the definition of what’s considered legal for hemp products in Virginia. Hemp products can have no more than a 0.3 percent total THC concentration. They also must have no more than 2 milligrams of total THC per package or no less than a 25:1 ratio of CBD to total THC in a package, in addition to other new rules such as a requirement that retail businesses get permits to sell CBD.

Inspectors from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have crisscrossed the Old Dominion to review stores’ wares for compliance with the new rules, and have issued $1.5 million in fines to about 20 stores thus far, according to documents provided by the agency last week.

House plant shop sprouts on Cary Street
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

A new-to-Richmond plant store has branched out into vinyl records as part of its relocation from North Carolina to the Fan.

Shades of Moss Plant + Design recently opened at 2128 West Cary St., having found a more favorable business climate here than that of Charlotte, where the store first opened, according to owner Barry Greene.

“It was getting more expensive for black-owned businesses in hot areas of Charlotte. I was in a walkable neighborhood with affordable rent but things shifted so fast,” said Greene, who previously lived in the Richmond area and would come back to visit. “Every time we go to Richmond, we see a new black business where someone is doing something cool.”

Shades of Moss primarily sells house plants, but with the move to Richmond also introduced a small selection of vinyl records for sale, with a focus on the jazz, house, soul and lo-fi genres. The store’s music selection is largely new releases from indie artists.

New owners change local Virginia Barbeque outpost to Lakeside Barbeque
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

With new owners at the helm, a Lakeside barbecue joint has been renamed for its namesake neighborhood.

The longtime Virginia Barbeque location at 6920 Lakeside Ave. has been rebranded to Lakeside Barbeque as part of its sale to Jarrett Douma and Chris Strattman.

The restaurant initially opened about 10 years ago as a franchise of the Virginia Barbeque chain, serving Virginia- and North Carolina-style barbecue next to Final Gravity Brewing Co.

The deal closed Aug. 30 for $64,000, Douma said. It included the restaurant’s lease, book of business and equipment.

Two 5-story buildings eyed for former Animal Motel site on Lombardy
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

A stretch of the city’s Northside is continuing to attract developer interest, as a mystery group is looking to bring 10 floors of new construction to the neighborhood.

Two five-story mixed-use buildings are being planned to rise at 2412 and 2423 N. Lombardy St., according to a rezoning request filed last week.

The proposed new structures would replace a derelict building that had formerly been home to Animal Motel at 2412 N. Lombardy St., as well as a row of car garages, dealerships and parts shops across the street at 2423 N. Lombardy St.

The two plots sit near the three-way intersection of Lombardy Street, Overbrook Road and Seminary Avenue – an area that’s drawing developer interest this year. On next block to the north is 2500-2536 N. Lombardy St., which Northern Virginia-based firm Sugar Mill Construction is looking to redevelop into a six-story mixed-use building with apartments and commercial space.

The plans for land to the south were laid out in a rezoning request that was filed last week on the day after the city’s Planning Commission gave the thumbs-up to Sugar Mill’s project.

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