John Wharton walked into the Mustard Seed Market in Montrose looking for CBD oil — for his dog and himself.

This was Wharton's first time in the store and the first time he had looked for CBD, or cannabidiol.

The Akron man's vet had recommended CBD — a cannabis extract — as a way to soothe the pains of his aging dog, and a friend suggested Wharton also might benefit from it.

At the Mustard Seed, a natural/organic market, he bought liquid CBD tincture, or oil.

The oil he chose is made by Mustard Seed, which this month entered the booming CBD market with its Hemp Luxe, which offers a line of hemp-derived CBD products, including creams and gels. Later this summer, Mustard Seed will debut Hemp Luxe specifically for pets. There are no plans for CBD-infused food for animals or humans.

Users believe CBD relieves a variety of pain symptoms, and its popularity has soared in recent years.

Hemp Luxe products are made with non-GMO organic hemp — in line with Mustard Seed’s standards stressing natural/organic products, said Gabe Nabors, second-generation leader of Mustard Seed, with two stores in the Akron area and a store in Solon.

Stores throughout Ohio sell hemp-derived CBD despite a ruling from the state’s Board of Pharmacy last year that CBD may be sold only in medical-marijuana dispensaries.

Mustard Seed felt confident in debuting its own CBD brand amid this ruling because Ohio law may soon change.

Nabors and other CBD retailers are watching Ohio Senate Bill 57, which would legalize hemp and hemp-derived CBD, catching up with federal law. It is now in the Ohio House.

“We believe that it will give us a state law that will match the federal law,” Nabors said, referring to the 2018 federal farm bill that allows states to regulate production of hemp. The federal bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. So while marijuana is illegal under federal law, hemp is not.

CBD is extracted from cannabis plants: the marijuana plant and its less controversial cousin, hemp.

CBD is not THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid from the marijuana plant that creates a “high.”

Nabors, Mustard Seed's CEO, said he was inspired to create Hemp Luxe after hearing testimonials of people helped by CBD when he attended a big hemp expo in Colorado last year.

“There’s a lot of people jumping on this trend … I saw this as an opportunity to give the customer a better product and more value,” he said, standing in front of the Montrose store’s CBD section.

A January consumer survey of 2,500 adults by Cowen & Co. found nearly 7 percent of those responding use CBD as a supplement. Brightfield Group, which tracks CBD sales, said earlier this year that CBD sales could reach $22 billion by 2022. That's up from an estimated $620 million last year.

Hemp Luxe represents the 38-year-old Mustard Seed grocery business's first foray into e-commerce, with all of the Hemp Luxe products available online.

Hemp Luxe products, like those of other brands, do not run cheap. The least expensive item available online is the Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract Cream (75 milligram container) for $24.99. All of the Hemp Luxe products are full spectrum, meaning they contain the extraction of all of the components of the hemp plant, something many buyers look for.

Hemp Luxe items, Nabors said, are more potent and less expensive than other industry-leading brands. Mustard Seed offers other brands as well as Hemp Luxe in all three Mustard Seeds.

While Mustard Seed sells vitamins and dietary supplements made by others under the Mustard Seed name, Hemp Luxe products are the first that Mustard Seed developed from the ground up. Hemp Luxe also is the only Mustard Seed product available online.

 

Reach Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com.