Barry Masters says he went into the tobacco business for its popularity and the profits he would be making from it. Masters did not, however, realize the impact he would be making on the community and his customers with his friendly demeanor and love to keep the business local.
Masters is the owner Up in Smoke tobacco shop, also known as Still Chillin in Anderson. Modeled after a 60s smoke shop, Masters says that almost half of the customers he gets comes in for CBD oil.
“I have a military vet who was in war and he was [hit] with a bomb. He got PTSD so bad he couldn't leave his home. His mother and wife came to the shop came crying asking for help. And I provided it for them,” Masters said. “This isn’t something I’m just giving out just because. This is life changing stuff and I feel good about this. Now he comes here by himself and he gets out of the house. All the medicine he said made him feel stupid but it feels fine other than the physical issues.”
CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, has been on the legislative table since late January. Indiana lawmakers are currently trying to address the legality of CBD oil or CBD-related products.
“It is completely full spectrum medicine. I have some doctors in Marion who send people to my shop to get the stuff,” Masters said.
Zach Zimmer, co-owner of Up in Smoke says that he expects profits to go up. (change just a bit)
“They come in quite often. I’m not a doctor or anything. But I’ve had doctors send people to me [to buy] and the returning customers always come back satisfied. They usually up the milligram dosage after a while,” said Zimmer.
CBD has been noted to treat ailments such as anxiety, nausea, epilepsy, etc. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive even though it can be found in hemp and marijuana plants. In committee meetings, supporters of the bill voiced their praises of the oil and how it has changed their lives.
Last month, when the bill was still under House legislation, supporters came out to discuss how the bill’s passing could kick start Indiana’s industrial hemp industry. According to WBAA, American Legion of Indiana Assistant Adjutant, Will Henry, testified that CBD oil [related products] could reduce the state’s opioid addiction and even help save the lives of veterans. He says that replacing the harmful and deadly medications with something safe and natural can be beneficial for all.
The natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits that CBD oil provides, is one of the reasons that supporters of the hemp plant want the General Assembly to consider as the bill is being passed through the Senate.
“Most of customers who come are over 60. Mothers come for their children with seizures and it helps stop it,” Masters said.
“I’ve had a mom come in and say how she didn’t use the medicine the doctor gave and that the [CBD oil] drops stopped her child’s seizure mid stream.”
The business not only sells the oil; the CBD is sold in other forms, such as 30 day supply pills and vape juices.
Last month, Governor Eric Holcomb made an announcement that an extension of sales of the oil will be made until March 14. The extension is supposed to help legislators add clarity to the law. In November, there was confusion over the law when Attorney General Curtis Hill said that the CBD oil was illegal in Indiana. Despite the confusion, the House passed the bill unanimously at the end of January. It will allow the sale and use of the oil that contains .3 percent or less of THC. Thursday, the Indiana Senate Committee on Commerce and Technology voted 8-3 on the bill. The bill will now go the Senate to receive its final vote.
“It is my hope that all hemp and marijuana products are made legal,” Masters said. “It does more good to people than it does harm. It shouldn’t be banned from the public.”
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