Photos and story by Daniel Shaw-Remeta / Contributing Writer
Tennessee Hemp Supply, a hemp dispensary in Murfreesboro, is the first of its kind in Tennessee. The dispensary opened to the public on June 9 but held its “grand opening” event Saturday. The shop has already attracted much attention and has experienced large waves of people coming to see what all the buzz is about. While some people visiting the shop are simply curious about the products, others are searching for pain relief.
Located at 1370 West Clark Boulevard, the hemp supply store is the first Tennessee-grown hemp dispensary in the state. The shop sells products infused with what is classified as industrial hemp, which are cannabis plants that have less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the compound that causes psychoactive effects most commonly associated with marijuana. Hemp contains only low levels of THC and can be used for various products, from cosmetic items to textiles. Cannabidiol, or CBD, another chemical found in cannabis, is often said to have positive health benefits, such as combating anxiety and inflammation. According to research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, hemp products may reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have also suggested that medical marijuana is associated with decreases in both prescription opioid use and overdose deaths, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Most of the ingestible products at the store contain CBD. The effects of CBD have not been widely approved for legal consumption, which remains to be one of the reasons why cannabis-based products have only been legalized on a federal level in a few states. Although these products aren’t universally accepted as credible forms of medication, most of the people at the shop’s grand opening seem to think this store is the first step toward a new way of thinking.
“I think this is a huge step forward in advancing the education that can be provided to people, and I think that people are starting to be a lot less ignorant about the way these chemicals and medicines work,” said Ian Stackhouse, an audio-visual technician and Tennessee Hemp Supply customer. “I think everyone should check it out even if it’s not something you think you’re into. Just go on down and ask these people some questions and really learn about how this stuff works and what it really is.”
The dispensary’s grand opening offered customers exclusive discounts on items in the store, along with food for purchase directly outside. Employees in the parking lot and inside the store greeted customers and answered questions related to the shop, the contents of the products, legalities and the applications of the products. Several local music artists performed in the shop’s parking lot to further promote the grand opening and lighten the mood for customers waiting in the massive line that went out the door.
Inside, the shop was packed with people waiting in a line that wrapped around the entire store. Scattered around the shop were various products, such as lotion and hemp-infused tea. Behind the counter were products that could be smoked, such as high CBD hemp for smoking, ready-to-smoke hemp, seltzers and other similar products.
Customers had to be 18 or older in order to buy any of the products and had to show their ID at check out.
For only being open a few days, Tennessee Hemp Supply appears to be getting the kind of business they were hoping for. Only time will tell how quickly more shops will emerge and how popular these types of products might become.
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