Pharmacy has been around for centuries. While the first official pharmacy was opened in 774 CE by Al-Hiti, a local pharmacist in Baghdad, the Encyclopedia Britannica aptly states that “when the first person expressed juice from a succulent leaf to apply to a wound, the art [of pharmacy] was being practiced.”
Conversely, CBD and medical cannabis is a relatively new industry. Cannabinoids were first discovered by British chemist Robert S. Cahn in 1940, while Roger Adams successfully isolated CBD two years later in 1942. It wasn’t until 2018, however, that CBD and other hemp-based products became available to the general public here in the United States. Thank goodness, right?
While some people may think of pharmacy and CBD as two completely separate industries, we at Farmer & Chemist believe that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Both pharmacy and CBD are based around boosting one’s wellbeing and providing individuals the most effective relief possible. Honestly, there aren’t two industries more apt to be connected.
This very idea is something Danell Murdock tried to reflect when she started designing the style and feel of Farmer & Chemist.
“Everything is a play on old and new,” says Danell, a partner and Creative Director at Farmer & Chemist. “You think about farmers and you think about chemists and there’s like this old and new combination. Not that farming techniques are old, but farming has been around forever—they are a backbone of our economy and our living. So, you think about that feeling of establishment, then you think about chemists, which are new and modern.”
This dual aspect of Farmer & Chemist continues into more than just the name. The name, product design, and interior decorating of our brick-and-mortar store were all inspired by the strangle coalition of traditional and modern that is inherent to CBD.
“When we were looking to build the logo,” continues Danell, “we started looking at what was going on in Brooklyn and other interesting places that gave off a warm and engaging energy. And that’s where Farmer & Chemist came from. It was meant to feel very established, like you’ve known it forever.”
Established is the perfect adjective to describe the style of Farmer & Chemist. From the get-go, Farmer & Chemist gives off an aura of professionalism and establishment. The company is basically saying “We know what we are doing, and we are here to stay.”
However, you can never accurately describe something with only one adjective. Thus, the word “whimsy” also comes to mind when I think of Farmer & Chemist. In contrast with the established aura of the company, the product names and general attitude exude a feeling of playfulness and joy.
Danell explains this playfulness: “Everybody’s CBD product is called ‘Calm’ or ‘Relax.’ They all have similar names and similar looks. Farmer & Chemist, on the other hand, is out of left field, doing its own goofy thing. We wanted to have names that emphasized how helpful CBD is, and how it is not something to be afraid of. Like Today is Grape—because today can be great. Or Orange You Happy because you tried CBD? It’s just little things to kind of make you think about what you’re using and what it’s doing for you.”
One of the most visual ways that Farmer & Chemist embraces duality, however, is in the interior design. Danell says, “We have this half-exposed tile and people would ask me, ‘Oh, do you really want to have exposed tile like that?’ And I just said, ‘Yes, we want the old and the new.’ We want this feeling to continue in the store.”
“It’s really important to understand the back shelves. I had done a lot of research on old pharmacies and I looked at 1800s pharmacies specifically. A lot of photos were just of weird cabinets and cabinetry, which I didn’t like, but I did find out that in New Orleans there is a Museum of Pharmacy. So go ahead and Google ‘Museum of Pharmacy’ and click images, and you'll see the back shelves that match our shelves at Farmer & Chemist. In a sense, they are echoing the past.”
When looking at the building’s original tile or the artfully carved counter, it’s easy to assume that “traditional” is the vibe. The finishing touches, however, are what elevate it into the playful territory of modern. This is done by simply lining the shelving and drawers with a long black and white stripe. “So you have the old furtniture with this modern black and white crispness,” explains Danell.
And it works. From the moment you step in the Farmer & Chemist store, or pick up one of the stylishly wrapped products, you know that the company has a unique perspective on wellness. While CBD may be the new wave of wellness, Farmer & Chemist is here to let you know that CBD is not a fad. Just like the farmers of yesteryear, CBD is here to stay.