This Extract Is Driving A Hemp Gold Rush. But Is It Legal?

By Sophie Quinton
Stateline.org

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dani Fontaine Billings and her mother, Tracee Box, own and operate “Nature’s Root”, a hemp spa in a suburb north of Denver. Cannabidiol-infused products are among the best sellers.

LONGMONT, Colo.

In a few months, Dani Fontaine Billings will plant 80 acres of hemp at her farm here, out behind a clapboard farmhouse with views of the Rocky Mountains.

Some of the plants will grow tall, like bamboo, and yield grain and fiber for textiles and other industrial products. Others will look and smell like marijuana and yield a cannabis compound. The profitability of that compound, Billings said, is drawing many farmers and would-be farmers to the hemp industry.

Few people had heard of cannabidiol, known as CBD, before a 2013 CNN documentary, “Weed,” that featured its healing powers. Now entrepreneurs put CBD into pills, tinctures, candies, body lotions and dog treats, and customers use it to ease health problems from anxiety and sore muscles to seizures.

Billings and her mother, Tracee Box, own and operate Nature’s Root, a hemp spa tucked beside the American Legion in this suburb north of Denver. As many things in the spa as possible are made of hemp, from the bathrobes to the massage oil. But cannabidiol-infused products are among the best sellers, said the 31-year-old Billings. “We have a very large clientele that just wants to use the CBD on their bodies.”

CBD can be derived from marijuana or hemp, both are varieties of the cannabis plant, but the marijuana version is only available in states that have legalized the drug. The hemp version, however, is easy to find online and in stores all over the country, including in spas and grocery stores. And because the hemp version isn’t psychoactive, it could attract a bigger market: people who want to feel better without getting high.

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