The first hemp bar has now opened up in East Village. Lev Kelman was found outside of his store setting up “Brooklyn Dark” bars of chocolate. In addition, a coffee and espresso machine was ready to begin selling. Laid out were also, “Hemp chocolate brownies, pastries, and cookies.” Taking a step further, Kelman also had shirts hung up as he wore one that said “YES WE HEMP” in golden letters.

Kelman was asked what inspired him to begin making Brooklyn Dark chocolate-hempseed bars. Here’s what he had to say: “The way it started was I was reading about hemp and marijuana and I realized hemp is a superfood. I saw there were hemp products like milk, cereal, health bars, but there was no hemp chocolate. People love chocolate, so might as well eat chocolate that is good for you, not like Hershey’s, that’ll poison you.”

Brooklyn Dark Bars have had a high demand which has made Kelman test the market for a hemp bar. According to him, there have been many hempseed stores, some of which he even visited. However, he has never seen anything fully dedicated to hemp that would contain coffees, teas, and other types of hemp products. That is why he has opened what he considers a unique business. Unfortunately, though, depending how things go, it may be shut down “by the end of October.” One main reason is because hemp has not been classified as safe by the Federal Drug Administration yet.

“I mean, you can buy hemp seeds in Trader Joe’s. I don’t see why you can’t make hemp brownies, hemp chocolates, or hemp drinks. For thousands of years humans have been eating hemp seeds,” stated Kelman.


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