Local CBD market growing

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 13, 2019

Six months after Congress passed a new Farm Bill allowing for the growth, sale and possession of some hemp and CBD oils, the market is beginning to develop.

The new legal status of CBD oil took some time to adjust to across the state as the new market emerged and information about the legal requirements spread.

Back in March, Smoke and Ash downtown was still in the early stages of selling CBD products as owner Angela Farmer sorted through what the law did and didn’t allow.

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Now the store is closed – and reopening with a full focus on CBD and hemp products.

The store had planned a ribbon cutting for a July re-opening, but the shift in the store’s focus necessitated a longer hiatus.

“We were gong to open up as a mixed store, a smoke shop and CBD shop,” Farmer said. “But someone came and bought every cigar, hookah and other product we had. When someone walks in and says they want to buy everything, you let them. So we were bare-shelved.”

With a clean slate, Farmer said the store is preparing to reopen after the summer –when Troy University students return – and in the meantime has been selling products as fast as they can get them.

“The amount of product we’ve had coming in, people were buying it before we could even get it on the shelves.,” Farmer said. “We actually have pre-order forms now so that people can reserve something specific so they don’t come and everything is sold out already. A lot of new people have been coming in looking for it and we never have enough.”

When Smoke and Ash fully reopens, it will be a CBD-focused, alternative health store, Farmer said.

“We plan to have edibles (such as cookies and brownies), gummies – which are always the first things to go, and we also have some hemp flowers left,” Farmer said. “We’re also working with other area businesses to include some homeopathic essential oils. “

The proliferation of CBD products isn’t limited to Smoke and Ash. CBD products can be found in convenience stores, vape shops and even in beauty stores around Troy.

Chris Graves at Cool Vapors said the CBD is fairly popular at the Troy store, although not as highly sought after as it is in their Dothan and Enterprise stores. Just last month, the store put a flag by the road to specifically advertise the sale of CBD at the store.

“That’s definitely brought some more people in looking for it,” Graves said. “A lot of people have been interested in it.”

Across Elba Highway at the Texaco station, more of the CBD products are on display right up on the front counter.

Safal Acharya said there’s no noticeable rush of people to come in and buy the products, but that the primary groups of people that have been interested are young people and older people.

Farmer said the CBD products being sold in various venues across the state are fine for people who are simply seeking to try the product, but people who are seeking it for medical reasons need to go to providers that are more specialized.

“It’s not all medical grade,” Farmer said. “For medical use, you really want to know how much you’re taking and what’s in that product, just like any other additive or alternative. There are various cannabinoids, you need to know what else is in there. What are you buying? If someone can’t answer that question, you shouldn’t be buying it.”

For people interested in finding out more about what hemp and CBD oil are, Farmer is hosting an educational session from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Ground Floor Coffee on the Square to go into more detail.

“We want to explain where hemp comes from, the difference between hemp and marijuana, how the government and the World Health Organization have reacted to it,” Farmer said. “ WHO research show we have neurotransmitters that work together with cannabnioids, even thought he FDA has not cleared it as a medical treatment. People need to know how much you’re taking, how to read the label – that kind of stuff.”