SHEBOYGAN – If you’ve strolled down 8th Street¬†recently, you may have noticed a trend.
Downtown Sheboygan is now home to a handful of¬†CBD stores. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD does not contain the high-inducing chemical found in marijuana, but it can help manage pain or other ailments, some users say. In Sheboygan’s CBD stores, shoppers¬†can find everything from gummies to bath bombs containing the chemical.
Ray York of the¬†Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation¬†said local business owners are cashing in on a larger trend. Cash flow projections for CBD retailers are good, York said. Although he added that it’s a new industry for Wisconsin, so there are still a lot of unknowns.
One of Sheboygan’s new CBD stores is Brick and Mortar Hemp Company, located at¬†1104 N. 8th Street. The shop¬†offers a variety of CBD infused products, from¬†oils to clothing and shoes made from the hemp plant. The store also¬†carries¬†a CBD-infused skincare line made by a local farmer.¬†
CEO Jordon Wakefield is a native of¬†Sheboygan, so it only made sense to start a business downtown, he said. The store opened July 15,¬†with plans¬†for a grand opening in October in conjunction with 8th Street¬†Ale Haus’ Oktober Fest.¬†
Wakefield¬†has been in the CBD industry for about four years. He was inspired to get involved with the industry after a trip¬†to Colorado about 12 years ago.
Wakefield say he tried a CBD product to treat a migraine and was surprised by how much it helped. He¬†later had two hernia surgeries and used CBD to help manage the pain. One of Wakefield’s goals is to provide Sheboyganites with access to a safe way to treat pain, he said.
“I actually have had a couple of friends die of opioid abuse, so I feel like it’s a social responsibility to get people off of those dangerous drugs,” Wakefield said.
According to the World Health Organization, CBD can be a useful treatment for¬†medical conditions including¬†anxiety, chronic pain and even epilepsy. Studies have shown that CBD oil has helped¬†reduce pain in rats.¬†
According to Harvard University’s health blog, more studies are needed to determine CBD’s efficacy when it comes to treating pain in humans. But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest CBD can help. Just ask¬†Davijon Aguinaga.
Like Wakefield,¬†Aguinaga used CBD to treat pain. Now he’s the manager of¬†GreenHouse, another Sheboygan store dedicated to CBD¬†products. It¬†opened July 4¬†at 933 Michigan Avenue.¬†
Not only does the space have CBD¬†products of all sorts, but it will also start offering yoga classes on Sunday mornings beginning in September.¬†They’ll¬†be taught by Aguinaga’s girlfriend who is certified as an instructor by Yoga Alliance.¬†Aguinaga said he wants GreenHouse to be an experience and not just a retail shop.¬†
Aguinaga’s experience with CBD started in 2017 after the car he was driving was hit by a train.¬†
“Through that year, I was laid up and recovering, taking Excedrin and Vicodin,” Aguinaga said. “It was an ugly process.”¬†
He had a traumatic brain injury, vertebrae fractures and nerve damage, he said.¬†
“I was just in a really bad place mentally, emotionally, physically,” he said. “I was just pretty much searching for anything. The (painkillers)¬†were making me someone I didn’t like and someone I didn’t want to become.”¬†
Aguinaga decided to give CBD a try. Though it took a few weeks to adapt, he found himself feeling better.
“It’s not the medical cure, but it definitely helped my mind get in a better place,” Aguinaga said. Today, he’s doing well.
There used to be a stigma around CBD and hemp, he said, but¬†with the proper education, it can help a lot of people.¬†
One of the challenges in the CBD industry is a lack of product regulation. Aguinaga said he’s heard¬†horror stories from people who thought they were using a product containing CBD that in fact didn’t.¬†
Dr. Amy Abernethy, principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, tweeted last month that the organization is expediting its work to regulate CBD products. In the meantime, however, consumers should do research on the CBD products they choose.
At GreenHouse, there’s a certificate of analysis for each product showing exactly what it contains and explaining how it complies with related laws.
Green Rx, another downtown CBD shop, opened a year ago.¬†It’s now¬†located at 512 N. 8th Street after moving to a larger location in June.
“With the building that we had, it was too small,” owner Jared Roe said. “We weren’t able to accommodate a lot of the people¬†coming in, it was just too busy, people were waiting outside the door.”
But even with multiple CBD stores in downtown Sheboygan,¬†there’s no need for competition,¬†Aguinaga said.
“This is a big enough field and market, there’s room for everybody,” he said.¬†
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