14 Nov, 2013

Rick Thompson / The Compassion Chronicles

TOLEDO- Ohio’s first retail store exclusively promoting hemp-based products will have their grand opening tomorrow, Friday November 15.”The Toledo Hemp Center (THC) specializes in hemp-based goods- protein products, tinctures, shampoos,” said THC owner Kevin Spitler in an interview with TCC. “We even have vape pens using CBD oils that come in four flavors.”

Ohio is not a medical marijuana state, so drinkable tinctures and E-Cigarette-style vaporizer pens may sound like products that promote an illegal activity in Ohio. Not so, says Spitler.

“These products all come from industrial hemp,” he is quick to point out, “and that is not marijuana. That is why we can do this.”

Spitler relates a story from the Toledo neighborhood where the THC is opening. “Right down the street there is a health food store. They carry hemp products, as just about all health food stores do. We are using the same supplier they use for some of our goods.”

The Grand Opening celebration on Friday will feature representatives of HempMedsPx, a national company that offers a line of CBD-rich consumer goods. “Having the HempMedsPx products available is itself a huge first,” Spitler boasted.

CBD is one of the active compounds found in both marijuana and hemp; unlike the THC found in marijuana, CBD produces no euphoric effect. CBD-rich varieties of hemp have been cultivated to maximize the healing properties the compound contains.

“Tinctures we have available that produce no high will help a lot of people,” Spitler promises. “Our model is based on working with retirement homes and communities. We are working on the acceptance part of the problem; when grandma approves, that’s when society begins to fully accept this medicine.”

Spitler knows about the elderly’s need for alternative solutions to ailments that may resist traditional forms of treatment. At the Ohio Medical Marijuana Expo, held in Toldeo a few months ago, Spitler broke the heart wrenching news that his mother had passed away that very day. The Expo featured noted cannabis speaker Cheryl Schuman and was sponsored by the Ohio Rights Group; Spitler carried out his duties and never faltered, despite the great personal tragedy.

“My younger brother Tim is my partner, and a lot of what we are doing is because of my mom,” Spitler admitted. “Watching what she went through at the end of her life makes us work harder.”