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El Paso sees rise of CBD stores

Claudia Hernandez
Canabidiol-based products for sale at El Paso, Tx.

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis genus of flowering plants that has grown a notable presence in areas throughout the country, including El Paso.   

According to The Motley Fool, CBD sales in the United States are expected to grow an average of 107% annually through 2023. 

BDS Analytics also predicts that CBD sales are expected to exceed $20 billion in the United States by 2024.   

In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 1325, legalizing the production and regulation of hemp. The bill saw bipartisan support, as both Democrats and Republicans sponsored it.   

In a public statement, Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, said, “Finally, Texas farmers are no longer cut out of this lucrative agricultural market. Plus, Texans are now free to use CBD without fear of arrest.”  

The law allowed the state to set up a federally approved program for farmers to grow hemp as an industrial crop, only including products derived from hemp containing less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants commonly used recreationally.  

The City of El Paso has already begun to see the effects of the new bill with many CBD stores opening across town. 

Mesa Street in West El Paso has at least four CBD dispensaries.  

There is a wide range of products that can be purchased at CBD stores, from topicals such as balms and lotions, to food products such as gummies and chocolates.  

Some mainstream retailers, such as Rite Aid, CVS Health, Ulta Beauty, Circle K and even Urban Outfitters, have started to sell CBD products.  

A pet owner can even purchase CBD products such as “Pet-Ness Dog Treats,” marketed to promote a healthy immune system.   

In this emerging industry, consumers can buy CBD-infused tinctures, bath salts, tea bags and even CBD-infused honey.    

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD and is continuing to gather data in order to learn more about the safety of CBD products.   

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes the significant public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. However, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD,” the FDA posted on its website.   

Without FDA approval, CBD stores and advocates cannot make medical claims or suggestions of the compound’s effectiveness or they risk being closed and fined.  

“Studies seem to suggest that there could potentially be medical benefits and it’s a shame that we have to wait on the FDA in order to actually speak about it,” Lee Angers, owner of CBD Holistics Company said.  

Among the many health claims made by CBD advocates are the treatment of cramps, Crohn’s disease, migraines, post-traumatic stress disorder addiction and epilepsy.  

While the prevalence of CBD in Texas continues to unfold, the legal future of recreational marijuana in the state continues to be unclear.  

Paulina Astrid Spencer may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Paulina Astrid Spencer
Paulina Astrid Spencer is a multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso. She works as a reporter at the University’s newspaper, the Prospector, where she writes weekly stories.  This semester she started an internship at Channel 9, where she publishes bylines and stories daily for the web. She is a proud Chicana and has interests in Mexican- American activism and feminism. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and hopes to incorporate her love of news-reporting and her minor in Chicano Studies in the future. She enjoys spending time with her family, her three mischievous cats and two adorable dogs.
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El Paso sees rise of CBD stores