Hemp Ville CBD, Oxford’s first store that is dedicated to the sale of CBD products, has recently opened. Owner Tony Barragan has nearly reached the end of his six-month journey of researching CBD and working to make it accessible to Oxford locals and university students.
Even though marijuana is not legal in Mississippi, a 2014 law called Harper Grace’s Law allows the sale of CBD oil and oil-based products.
The law states that vendors must obtain the CBD oil from or have it tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the university and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in marijuana. It is believed by many to be beneficial for physical and mental health.
Barragan’s interest in CBD oil originated when he discovered its beneficial effects on physical pain and mental health, which he was dealing with personally. Months of research led him to a CBD expo and certification course in Florida. There, Barragan was able to speak with CBD specialists and hear various success stories.
“All the facts that I discovered while doing my research on CBD … I realized that it wasn’t a hoax,” Barragan said. “This is some really good stuff that is helping people every day.”
Enthusiastic about his findings, Barragan took to Facebook to start a dialogue about other people’s experiences with CBD. He started sharing articles about the benefits of using CBD instead of opiates for pain treatment, and the reaction was overwhelming.
“It created a huge following on my Facebook, and I never stopped sharing stuff,” Barragan said. “I think the response is what led me to open the store.”
Barragan says it’s rewarding to sell a product that helps so many people, but it has been difficult dealing with those who are hesitant about CBD’s relationship to marijuana.
“I deal with skeptics every day, and I need more of them because all of the old ones are believers now,” Barragan said. “Those who have given me the opportunity to explain the science and chemistry of it aren’t skeptics anymore.”
Sophomore political science major Livie Ruhl started using CBD to treat her anxiety when her parents recommended it to her last year. Now a routine consumer of CBD, she is eager to switch to shopping at Hemp Ville when it opens.
“I’ve never known where to get CBD,” Ruhl said. “I’m excited to be able to buy it somewhere safe and convenient now.”
Hemp Ville CBD sells a wide variety of CBD products, including oils and edibles. Local client Dylan Cowell said he has tried every CBD product Barragan offers, and his favorites are the wax and the hard candy, called shatter. After years of taking prescribed opiates, he now only uses CBD products to treat his pain.
“I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of eight,” Cowell said. “I’ve also had both hips replaced and a knee replacement. CBD is the only thing that’s given me relief.”