In the heart of Texas, during the country’s largest entertainment festival, there were vendors selling cannabis. Now, this wasn’t cannabis as typically rendered—they weren’t selling bud or common forms of the plants you’d see from retailers in states with legalized marijuana. Instead they were selling hemp-derived CBD products.
That’s because in the state of Texas if cannabidiol is derived from a legal industrial hemp plant, it isn’t subject to state regulations established by the Texas Compassionate Use Act. Instead, hemp-derived CBD is considered an essential oil, in the same family as lavender or peppermint, and can be sold legally.
“Industrial hemp products are safe, legal and can be purchased on-line or on the shelves of hundreds of retail locations in Texas,” Coleman Hemphill, executive director of the Texas Hemp Industries Association, told PR Newswire. “Thousands of Texans have purchased and benefited from the use of industrial hemp products such as hemp hearts, protein, milk, cosmetics, and CBD oil.”
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One of the businessmen taking advantage of Texas’ hemp oil marketplace is Skyler Johnstone, who initially entered the cannabis space in Washington with his company Skywalker Delights, a freshly-baked edible retailer.
In Austin, he founded Bee Delightful, which sells organic honey infused with 250 milligrams of CBD hemp oil. The honey comes from treatment-free, organic bees rescued and transplanted to their co-op of farmers at the Bee Delightful sanctuary.
“Coming down here to Texas, I’m way ahead of most people that I run into as far as the cannabis plant because I’ve spent time, years and years, researching it, talking to industry professionals, scientists, doctors, medical patients,” he told us.
Part of what precipitated Johnstone’s move to Texas was the Cannabis Patient Protection Act that took effect in Washington last summer. That move forced the medicinal marijuana marketplace to be folded into the recreational one, and due to some shady business dealings, the big players essentially froze out some of the smaller guys like Johnstone.
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“That hurt me. I wanted to be part of Initiative 502, [that legalized] recreational marijuana licenses,” he said. “But guess what happens? If you’re part of that as a producer myself, I would never meet my customer ever again. In Seattle, they have it broke down in three different tiers: producer, processor, and then they have the retailer. You cannot be all three.”
But with Bee Delightful, Johnstone has found a new avenue in Texas. Some within the state are expecting a possible “green rush” this year through the hemp marketplace and could become the new hotbed for growing cannabis to extract CBD.
Bee Delightful and Johnstone are poised uniquely to capitalize on this burgeoning market and really have “struck honey gold.” Every jar that a customer buys also goes to saving 100 bees, which is significant in a time when the rusty patched bumble just went on the endangered species list.
“This market is ready and it’s a bubble that’s about to pop,” Johnstone said. “Even if I have 1 percent of that market, we’re going to be killing it. I think I already have 1 percent of that market because we have such a superior product. The people want it, they just haven’t asked for it yet, or seen it yet.”
With information coming out regarding CBD’s effectiveness treating pain relief and the other benefits the product has, CBD-infused products, like honey, could be an untapped potential within the cannabis space and become part of many’s daily routines.
“We’re approaching this as ‘Life is good’ meets cannabis industry,” Johnstone said. “That’s where we’re at. It’s a lifestyle brand.”