CORNELIUS – The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill Dec. 20 made the growth and sale of hemp legal across the country, though it has already been lawful and part of the marketplace in North Carolina – and found in shops around the lake.
It’s a product Terri Long has been selling out of her HempLily shop off West Catawba Avenue, where she relishes educating the public about the benefits of the plant and its active chemical, cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD oil has been shown to relieve pain, including that related to arthritis, according to an article on the HealthLine website. Additionally, it has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.
The farm bill legally separated hemp from what Long calls its cousin, marijuana, and is now regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture instead of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“We heard it was coming all year that it was separating hemp from marijuana,” said Long, who initially only sold her hemp oils online.
Now, 60 percent of her sales come from her shop – it’s more of an office space – where she tries to distinguish her brand from other hemp businesses. The Asheboro-based Everything Hemp has opened a store in Denver, and a hemp dispensary is in Charlotte.
“They differ in their vibe,” she said of the dispensary. “They go for an all-out marijuana vibe. I’m trying to do something different and be upscale boutique retail and soften the stigma of hemp and cannabis altogether.”
Unlike marijuana, the oils are consumed either by placing a drop underneath the tongue or rubbing it on your hands. Chiropractors are among Long’s resale clients.
And Long said most who come to her shop need a consult on the uses and effects of her products; those who received some as gifts are welcome too.
“They can call me anytime even if the store’s not open,” she said. “I want to give as much support as possible to people who are new to it.”
Even if marijuana becomes legal in North Carolina, Long believes hemp will still have a demand.
“I’m not sure how it would impact it but not everybody wants to get high,” she said. “Would I grow into the marijuana side? I’m open to it, but I do think it will become legal soon.”