Though it’s been around and readily available for years—if you knew where to look for it—the legalization of the retail sale and manufacturing of CBD products by the Louisiana Legislature earlier this year is triggering a rush in Baton Rouge as people look to buy and sell products derived from hemp.
Gas stations, vape shops, health boutiques and even neighborhood coffee shops across the city are carrying products infused with CBD, a compound extracted from hemp that supporters claim has myriad health benefits. Two brick-and-mortar shops have opened in the Capital Region to sell CBD products exclusively—Aurora CBD on Airline Highway and HealthyU CBD on Essen Lane, in the heart of the health district.
U.S. sales of CBD products reached $238 million in 2018, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, up 57% from 2017. Though those watching the industry are generally optimistic about the market’s potential, experts have varying opinions on its future valuation, with some predicting sales could reach up to $22 billion by 2022.
Even people in the health care industry are taking a shine to the products. Dr. Meredith Warner, a Baton Rouge orthopedic surgeon and founder of The Healing Sole, has always been interested in natural and less interventional medicine, so exploring how CBD and other oils can help her patients was a natural step for her.
For the past four years, she’s been developing The Well Theory, a line of products with CBD and other essential oils to help with pain management and synergizing the body.
“I’ve been very disenchanted with what we’ve done in terms of the opioid crisis,” she says. “Western medicine has done a disservice in a lot of ways. I’d like to marry Western and natural medicine.”
With state approval for the sale of CBD products, she’s moving forward with launching her company later this summer, with an initial rollout of CBD-infused vitamins and oils, as well as a cream and spray. Along with CBD, she’s incorporated six essential oils into her products that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Read the full story from the latest edition of Business Report.