CBD Business

Brooks: Minnesota’s CBD business is booming in a legal gray area

Because I was curious and because I could, I bought some cannabis the other day.

Looks like me and everyone else in Minnesota.

While St. Paul’s politicians are debating whether and when to legalize marijuana for entertainment, the rest of the state is entering the cannabis business in a big, big way.

CBD, a cannabis extract that won’t get you there, has been everywhere since Congress legalized cannabis late last year. Congress said nothing about hemp extracts and marijuana extracts like CBD, but before anyone could object, retailers slipped out the door and set up shop in a legally gray area.

You can buy CBD at grocery and pet stores, as well as online and at mom and pop stores across the state. Customers come looking for something to relieve their pain, anxiety and illness and leave with CBD oils, ointments and foods. There is talk of a CBD cafe in Dinkytown.

“The proverbial gin has come out of the bottle and it would be very difficult to put it back at this point,” said Cody Weiberg, executive director of the Minnesota Pharmaceutical Council, which oversaw the hemp explosion from the side.

The Minnesota Department of Health monitors medical marijuana and the Department of Agriculture monitors the cultivation of hemp, but the CBD doesn’t fall on anyone’s desk, and the small pharmaceutical council couldn’t handle it, even if it wanted to.

“There are probably hundreds of Minnesota retailers selling the product,” Weiberg said, “including the Fresh Thyme grocery store, which is half a block away. [of Pharmacy] offices. … My vet was selling something called Pet Paws, which was CBD for dogs.

Before the Nothing But Hemp store opened on the corner of Lindale and Lake in Minneapolis, CEO Stephen Brown went looking for the right documents and bureaucracy.

“We went to the city [of Minneapolis] and we were literally trying to give them money to get a tobacco dealer’s license, “because the store sells vape pens for CBD oil,” Brown said. “We talked to a supervisor and they said, ‘Well, you’re not tobacco, you’re hemp, so you really have nothing to worry about.'”

The shelves of Nothing But Hemp are lined with CBD tinctures, coffee beans infused with CBD, quotes with CBD, bath bombs with CBD, CBD for dogs. Brown targets his business to customers aged 45 and over, making an avant-garde cannabis purchase feel less than annoying, to be honest.

“People will come in and spend more money on their pets than they do,” said Brown’s business partner, Giovanni Jenkins, who is leaving his job as dean of high school students in Minneapolis to go into the full-time hemp business. day.

The business is lively. There are four Nothing But Hemp stores in and around Minnesota and Brown has plans for more. They buy their goods from states where cannabis is regulated and from suppliers they trust to test their products in a laboratory.

“The goal,” Brown said, “is to be the largest, most respected CBD brand in the country.”

The US Drug Enforcement Administration has approved only one CBD product to date – an anti-seizure drug called Epidiolex. So retailers can’t legally tell you what their product is good for. They may tell you that their clients are coming looking for relief from pain, anxiety, seizures, PTSD, ADHD, migraines, psoriasis or just hoping for a good night’s sleep.

Nothing but hemp and the pharmaceutical board offer customers the same advice. Take a few healthy precautions. If you are taking other medicines, talk to your doctor to make sure they do not interact with CBD. Research retailers and their suppliers to make sure they have a reputation. Last November, the University of Virginia Commonwealth tested CBD products and found that some of them were stained with additives ranging from cough syrup to synthetic cannabis.

“We are not trying to prevent the product from being sold,” Weiberg said. “We believe that if it is to be sold, there must be some regulation so that society is not a victim of unscrupulous people. [or] people who just don’t know what they’re doing. “

Armed with this knowledge, I made my purchase – 500 milligrams of CBD oil infused with mint.

It had a musty and mint taste and cost me $ 49, which my boss is unlikely to recover. Squeezing a few drops of the product under my tongue gave me the same warm, smug glow I feel every few weeks when I think of taking a multivitamin.

I repeated the dose every day for the next five days and finished this column by the end of the week.

If you want to visit Nothing But Hemp at 617 W. Lake St., Minneapolis. If you want to read the CBD Council of Pharmacists advice, it’s online at mn.gov/boards/pharmacy/public.

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