PENN’S CHOICE is quickly becoming the local choice for all things CBD | Pittsburgh City Paper

PENN’S CHOICE is quickly becoming the local choice for all things CBD

click to enlarge PENN’S CHOICE is quickly becoming the local choice for all things CBD
Come harvest time, it’s all hands on deck for the family behind PENN’S CHOICE. Pictured from left to right, owners Betsy Gibson, Joe Gibson, Rebecca Zaccard, and Steve Gibson.
If you drive down Gibson Road in October, you might think you’ve been transported to Humboldt County, but no, the Gibson family hemp farm is about as local as it gets. Nestled in the rolling hills of Northern Butler County, their 200-acre farm is filled with the purples and greens of their various CBD and CBG hemp strains of all terpene profiles and phenotypes. It’s the home of their aptly named hemp farm and brand, PENN’S CHOICE, and it’s a pretty magical place, especially if you’re a cannaisseur.

Neither the name, the location, nor the crop are accidents. Many people might be surprised to learn that Pennsylvania has a long tradition of hemp cultivation dating all the way back to when the state was first founded. In fact, hemp was even recognized as valid currency in the Commonwealth’s early years. PENN’S CHOICE, the family-owned company, seeks to not just continue but to build on that tradition.

“We’re putting PA on the map for premium quality hemp. People tend to think of California or Colorado, but hemp doesn’t actually grow naturally in those states. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has the perfect climate and the history to prove it,” said Steve Gibson, Co-Owner and CEO of PENN’S CHOICE. Joe Gibson, fellow Co-Owner and CGO, or Chief Growing Officer, added, “Our farm has been in our family for generations, and so we’ve been tilling this land for two hundred plus years. We know it like the back of our hand, and we knew that with our passion for cannabis and our experience, that we could leave the land better than we found it as well as grow something really special for our neighbors and the Pittsburgh community.”

For PENN’S CHOICE, cultivation is just one piece of the puzzle. In a time when it seems like everyone is starting a CBD brand, from Martha Stewart to that old buddy from high school, PENN’S CHOICE could’ve stuck to farming and sold their product off to another company to white label. Instead, they chose to be fully seed-to-sale, which means they grow, process, produce, and sell all their own products, and they do so locally. Both their farm and their headquarters, which houses production and shipping, are located in Northern Butler County, just a stone’s throw from Pittsburgh.

“There’s not always a lot of transparency in the CBD industry. People don’t always know where it’s actually grown or how its processed, and so for us, it was incredibly important to do it all ourselves from start to finish and to do it right here in Western PA,” Steve Gibson said.

Rebecca Zaccard, Co-owner and COO added, “It’s a heck of a lot of work, but it’s absolutely worth it. Especially when we get a call from someone who just tried one of our products, and they tell us that they finally slept through the night or that they have real relief from pain … it reminds us that we’re doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Speaking of their products, PENN’S CHOICE offers a range of hemp products that seek to calm your mind, relax your body, and ease your pain. They specialize in craft CBD and CBG Flower, of which they currently offer five different strains from the 2020 grow season, ranging in terpene profiles and effects. They also offer each of their strains as their signature SELFIES, a tin of three mini pre-rolls, which are a crowd favorite. Lastly, they offer full spectrum CBD products that they make by hand in small batches, including CBD Bath Bombs, CBD Salves, and CBD Oils.

You can purchase their entire product line at, as well as at several local retailers and farmers markets. For a full list of locations, check here. Once there, you can also sign up for their email list to receive exclusive discounts and updates on new releases, new retail locations, and events. There’s even talk of farm tours in the upcoming season, and so if you’re an email subscriber, you’ll have first access. Maybe by this coming October, you won’t have to imagine the rolling Western Pennsylvanian hills filled with hemp, instead you’ll be frolicking in them yourself.

To follow along on their journey and to get all that farm content, follow PENN’S CHOICE on Instagram and Facebook. PENN’S CHOICE brings you a little education and a lot of levity as they take you behind the scenes on the farm, in the office, and around the community.