SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – You may have noticed that CBD dispensaries have been popping up all over Savannah.
So what are they and what exactly do they sell?
City of Savannah officials say there are now 24 CBD dispensaries citywide. You might have spotted some of them.
CBD gummies, Delta 8 lollipops and Pineapple Express smoke buds – walk into any of these dispensaries and you’d think you were in Colorado or California.
But these stores are in Savannah, the products are legal, and the people who run them say they’re on a mission.
“Take the whole thing away [stigma] that it’s devil’s lettuce and that it’s all about getting high,” said Jay Cooper.
Cooper owns the Hemp Leaf CBD Supply Company on DeRenne Avenue. He says he started taking CBD after being hit head-on by a wrong-way driver.
CBD is a compound in the cannabis plant that’s touted to help with things like pain, inflammation, and even anxiety. These claims have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But Cooper says CBD has helped his clients come off opioid pain relievers.
“Actually, I got my orthopedist to send people over here,” Cooper said.
Cooper opened his shop immediately after Gov. Brian Kemp enacted the Georgia Hemp Farming Act three years ago. This law opened the door to hemp cultivation nationwide.
Cooper sells CBD and Delta-8 products. He says he has all of his products tested by third-party labs to make sure they’re safe.
The laboratories then issue a “Certificate of Analysis”.
“COA not only stands for Certificate of Analysis, but also for ‘Cover Our _.’ …because it protects us too,” Cooper said.
They’re far from the only game in town.
Anthony Golden runs Huta CBD Essentials near Eisenhower Drive. He says he worked in manufacturing before taking on this role.
Golden says he has never tried cannabis products before.
“It was a big adjustment knowing I had to try this stuff for research,” Golden said.
Huta also sells several cannabis-derived products, including CBD and Delta-8.
The FDA says Delta-8 THC is a legal, psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant.
Golden says – Manufacturers concentrate Delta-8 THC – making it much more potent than CBD oil – and more like traditional marijuana, known as Delta-9.
“Kind of a legal workaround,” Golden said.
Both stores also sell other products, including dog chews, varieties advertised to give you energy and others to help reduce appetite.
Cooper says he feels they are a positive influence.
“This is right for us because it’s helping people,” Cooper said.
The FDA warns that Delta-8 products are not FDA approved.
“The FDA is also concerned that delta-8 THC products are likely to expose consumers to much higher concentrations of the substance than those found naturally in hemp cannabis raw extracts. Therefore, historical use of cannabis cannot be relied upon to establish a level of safety for these products in humans.”
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