Using a 7,000-degree flame, Chris Hubbard spent his 37th birthday blowing a custom glass art piece for Swamp City Gallery Loungeâ€™s grand opening weekend.
He was one of 10 artists flown in from across the country to create a showcase piece for the first cannabidiol and art lounge in Gainesville.
The Swamp City Gallery Lounge grand opening from noon to 2 a.m. on Saturday through Sunday featured food trucks, clothing vendors, live music, glass-blowing demonstrations and an art collection totaling $500,000 in glass pieces and wall art.
The gallery, 404 SE Second St., has an outdoor beer garden, a game room and a craft beer bar. It also features local art along with CBD-infused products including ice cream, bath bombs, chocolates, eye creams and lotions.
Dabs, which is slang for a type of vapor hit of an oil or concentrate, is also offered at the lounge, Swamp City owner Tyler King said. The lounge offers $5 to $7 dabs in a variety of flavors like banana, blueberry and Girl Scout cookie, he said.
Although the CBD chemical comes from the cannabis plant, smoking CBD does not produce the psychoactive effect that marijuana does, said Javier Camba, a SwampCity employee.
â€śIt doesnâ€™t get you high, but it has a lot of health benefits,â€ť Camba said. â€śIt helps you with anxiety, it helps you with inflammation, and it helps you with arthritis and sleep apnea.â€ť
The goal is to one day legally have THC products for sale, Camba said. For now, Florida laws only allow CBD products to be sold if the business is not a licensed dispensary.
King opened a marijuana dispensary in California and moved back to Florida to pursue his vision for the gallery lounge. King said he has been an avid collector of glass pieces for 10 years and is also a craft beer enthusiast.
â€śI wanted to bring all of that together under one roof and make a place where people, no matter what youâ€™re into, can come and hang out,â€ť he said.
Some older customers use the CBD products for migraines, arthritis, tendonitis and chronic back pain, King said. Others smoke it to quit using tobacco products.
Marine veteran Robert Bruton bought CBD-infused mango ice cream to try at the event Sunday. He said he hopes it will help with his mobility.
â€śThe VA hospital takes away the medications now from the veterans because they donâ€™t want them hooked on opiates,â€ť he said. â€śI had opiates for over 20 years now, now I donâ€™t have any. So Iâ€™m trying to get other things to try to make it so I can keep functioning.â€ť