"Thanks Governor. CBD is back. Huge selection," reads the marquee sign outside of Texas Quitters Club along U.S. Highway 77 in Waxahachie.
The signage is referencing House Bill 1325, which was recently signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and legalized the sale of CBD products across the state. Abbott's signature helped to put smoke shops and customers at ease too, as the popular product had — as recently as March — led to several police raids in north Texas.
The Star-Telegram reported police raids at smoke shops in Duncanville and Lancaster in late March that led police to seize "30 pounds of marijuana, hundreds of pounds of CBD oil in various forms, weapons and other evidence pertinent to the case."
The owners of the business told NBC that it was not marijuana but hemp flower that was displayed in glass jars.
At the time of the raids, CBD products were only legal for a small group of Texans to purchase and poses, according to the 2015 Compassionate Use Act of Texas.
"It was scary because the moment it happened, we pulled [CBD products] to be safe and checked on the laws and stuff like that," explained Andrew Humphries, a Texas Quitters sales associate.
He added, "When we heard about the first raid, we got rid of it all. We didn't even keep it in our inventory. We didn't have it anywhere near us, we were done with it."
The Waxahachie store now advertises a "huge selection" on the marquee, even though the bill does not go into effect until Sept. 1.
The new law, which was passed by both the Texas House and Senate during the 86th Texas Legislative Session, permits the production, manufacture, retail sale and inspection of industrial hemp crops and products in Texas.
That includes products that contain cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, which is a derivative of the hemp plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid found in hemp, which is a cannabis plant.
The plant-based product (CBD oil) is made to strengthen the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, which regulates processes in the body such as appetite, pain, mood, memory, peripheral nervous system and more.
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells, according to Nature's Ultra, a CBD product.
The ECS is stimulated by cannabinoids, which is the natural compound found in the body.
Legal CBD products may not contain more than 0.3 percent concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for the psychological effects of marijuana.
Once HB 1325 was signed, the owner of Texas Quitters Club contacted distributors in California and Colorado to get the merchandise back on their shelves.
Humphries has been in the CBD business for about five years and, every time the store receives a new product, it is his job to learn everything and figure out the legality and science behind it. Humphries referred to himself as a skeptic about CBD products but was amazed by the results from customers.
"I'm a very skeptical person, and I thought it was like snake oil, but once I saw what it was doing to people and the actual research behind it I was impressed," Humphries explained. "It changed my mind a lot."
CBD products are for people 18 years and older and range from oil tinctures, lotions, gummies, lip balms and even dog treats. Humphries explained that if a person were to consume over the recommended amount of CBD, that individual would not overdose on the product.
"Your metabolism and your liver work hand-in-hand in metabolizing CBD, so you're body will typically, on average, take 33 mg per day, while the rest will just flush out of your system. You never get high on this, but once you hit that 33-limit, your liver is going to process the rest of it out," he explained.
Texas Quitters Club only purchases CBD products that have undergone testing to ensure the proper amount of THC is incorporated.
According to the Just CBD website, a product purchased at Texas Quitters Club, neither synthetics or THC are used. Studies conducted by Green Scientific Labs are also posted online for each product sold.
One of the requirements of HB 1325 is for the Texas Department of Agriculture to file a state plan to monitor and regular the production of hemp in Texas.
That plan will later be approved by the United State Department of Agriculture before an agency can create the rules necessary to implement for the rest of the bill.
According to the USDA website, "It is USDA's goal to issue regulations in the fall of 2019 to accommodate the 2020 planting season. As required by law, USDA is committed to completing its review of [state] plans within 60 days, once regulations are effective."
The Waxahachie Family Video marquee has read, "CBD sold here," for several months. According to the store manager, Rachel Matthews, the store never received any flack from the community or law enforcement.
Matthews explained for the video store to remain relevant in the 21st Century, it is necessary to provide other products and services. The video store also houses Marco's Pizza, offers wireless phone service and has sold CBD products since October.
"We get a lot of CBD customers because of our video sales, and we get a lot of video sales from our CBD customers," Matthews noted.
Before CBD was placed in any store, Matthews stated that the corporate team double-checked with local authorities to see if it was okay. Matthews did note that CBD products were removed from the Arlington location.
"But Ellis County has been fine with it," she expressed. "We've not had any trouble in Ellis County. Anytime we introduce it to a new store we double-check and continue to double-check counties even after they saw its legal."
Natural Native CBD products are gradually being sold in Family Video stores around the nation after the CEO had a positive experience. The company is based in Oklahoma and claims to be all-organic, 100 THC free and tested by a third party. A testimonial book rests on top of the CBD case with pages of reviews that subsided various symptoms.
"He wanted to introduce it to the stores and wanted to help other people," Matthew said. "We don't sell any of the vape because of the health risk."
Standing on a tile floor up to 10 hours a day, Matthews deals with the disadvantages on her knees. She utilized the spray CBD on her knees to alleviate the pain, which worked. Matthews also mentioned her daughter, who lives with insomnia, benefits from products, and sleeps much more peaceful.
LIFE WITH CBD
Alyece Fuller, an Ennis resident, has suffered from severe anxiety her entire life, and prescription drugs were always a last resort.
Luckily she hasn't had to use prescription drugs — thanks to CBD products.
"It can get so bad, that I don't eat for days causing all kinds of physical symptoms," Fuller explained. "It even gets to the point where I'm not wanting to spend quality time with my children because I'm so focused on just trying to relax."
After researching and trying to find the right formula for her needs, Fuller discovered the perfect concoction.
"I'm happier; I'm getting more things checked off my to-do list, my sleep has been uninterrupted — and do not get me started on the food I have been eating and making," Fuller acknowledged.
"It feels so good to feel like myself again," she stressed.
In a previous Daily Light article, one local business owner had sold CBD products for a year and developed a clientele of about 15 people.
One client raved about the Holistic Hemp Co. product saying, "It doesn't even compare to products I buy over the counter. It goes a long way and does a great job, seriously. I have bought high-end cosmetic products for my face for a decade, and this stuff does wonders for my face."
The client shared she also uses the CBD oil for her pets to ease their anxiety when fireworks are going off and when a series of storms are approaching.
When the Daily Light article titled, "Waxahachie business owner learns hemp products are deemed illegal by authorities," was published in February 2018, Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby stated that anyone who possesses CBD products was subject to a criminal offense.
Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson backed up the law at the time, saying, "In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, Senate Bill 339, which is referred to as the Texas Compassionate Use Act."
He continued, "That law outlines extremely narrow, and highly regulated, categories of individuals who may produce, distribute, prescribe, and receive low THC cannabis."
After Abbott signed HB 1325 earlier this month, Wilson told the Daily Light the new law "takes away a lot of grey areas as related to the CBD products for sure and puts a lot of the enforcement authority on regulatory agencies, not criminal justice agencies."
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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450