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CBD stores open in Milwaukee

Posted: 5:56 PM, Dec 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-08 18:56:50-05

It's the latest "it" ingredient to hit menus: CBD, which just became legal in Wisconsin this year.

Two local shops, a CBD dispensary in Bay View and a CBD cafe in Riverwest, hosted grand openings this weekend.

CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, but unlike THC in marijuana, experts say CBD does not produce a "high." People use the ingredient to treat pain and anxiety.

Customers at both locations are raving about the benefits of CBD while owners are just happy to be in business.

In Bay View, Erth Dispensary's grand opening was packed with the line of customers out the door. Customers like Teresa Cobi waited anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to get inside.  

"The overall selection of this place looks amazing," said Cobi. 

She says those who directly associate hemp with marijuana need to be more proactive in their understanding of the plant. 

"Education, people need to understand that this is a different chemical," she said. "Everybody is thinking THC. That's a psychoactive ingredient and these items don't have that."

Like Cobi, many of the customers are looking to purchase items for themselves and loved ones; this includes dogs. There are pills, bongs, candies, lotions, candles, you name it.

Alexander Jahn is a local business owner himself and he says coming to Erth Dispensary is helping the local community. Not to mention, Jahn is also interested in helping his own pain relief. 

"I have a hard time with my knees," said Jahn. "Every now and then I take a lot of Aleve, so I thought I'd try something different."

Owner Jennifer Kawczynski ran Erth Dispensary online and at Hemp conventions for the last two years. She says sales were great but she wanted more. 

"I just kept seeing the 'for lease' sign," she said. "I was like, you know what? I'm gonna call. So, we got in, we called, the price was right. We moved and opened in 30 days."

Now, in a brick-and-mortar store, she says Saturday's grand opening serviced over 70 customers in the first hour.

Friday was the grand opening of Riverwest's Hemp World Cafe.

Co-owner Samia Harris says her customers have some of the accessibility to CBD that the local dispensary does. But at the Cafe, customers can also sit down and relax with the products they just bought. Customers are able to eat, drink or smoke the hemp at their leisure.   

"That's what the CBD is helping them with, any body pains," said Harris."We also make them feel at home when they come in. We want everybody feeling at home real comfortable." 

Both Erth Dispensary and Hemp World Cafe's customers must be 18 years or older. Under no circumstances are children allowed inside, even if they are accompanied by a parent.

Harris and Kawczynski say their products have little to no amount of THC in them. 

"Everyone can come without getting intoxicated or have to worry about any problems with leaving here, they're still going to be in their right mind frame," says Harris.