LOVELAND — A Loveland businessman who wants no connection to the legal-pot scene has opened a shop devoted entirely to pain-relief products made from hemp.
Jason Garza launched Mad Mountain Wellness two weeks ago at 400 E. Eisenhower Blvd., adjacent to his Mad Mountain Vapors store.
He sells a growing array of creams, gels, tinctures, e-cigarette liquids and capsules that contain CBD, or cannabidiol, which is derived from cannabis plants — hemp and marijuana.
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The CBD products he sells have negligible amounts of THC, the molecule in cannabis that gets pot users high. He said the products’ THC concentration is under 0.3 percent, which qualifies them as derivatives of industrial hemp under the Colorado Constitution.
Teresa Ablao, assistant city attorney, said the city ordinance that prohibits the sale or cultivation of marijuana in Loveland specifically exempts industrial hemp products, so Mad Mountain Wellness’s products would be legal as long as they fall under the 0.3 percent limit.
‘A lot of misunderstanding’
The point of CBD products is to relieve pain, not get high, Garza said.
“Everyone got so caught up in the ‘we can get high’ aspect of medical marijuana that this got overlooked,” Garza said. “There’s still a lot of misunderstanding of what it is.”
Garza said most of the stores that sell CBD products are head shops, marijuana dispensaries or pet-supply businesses (for use on animals). He said as far as he knows, there’s only one other shop in the country that sells only CBD products.
“The target demographic is going to be older folks … who have more aches and pains,” he said. “They don’t want to go to dispensaries; they don’t want to be seen at head shops.”
Mad Mountain Wellness sells only to people 21 and older, Garza said.
CBD products have produced relief for a range of problems, Garza said, “from everyday aches and pains all the way up to being used to treat (symptoms of) HIV and cancer.” The products also can be used to treat anxiety, depression and seizures, he said.
In the short time he has been selling CBD products, Garza said he has collected an impressive number of testimonials.
“I’ve had no negative reviews. The worst I’ve heard is ‘it works OK,'” he said. “It’s insane how well it works. I had no idea.”
‘I tried every cream on the market’
Mad Mountain Wellness’s first customer tells a compelling story about the relief she found in a jar of CBD cream.
Three years ago, Berthoud resident Connie Grommon slipped on the tile in her home, hitting her head and breaking her pelvis.
After two months in a coma and time spent at a rehabilitation hospital, she came home in a wheelchair.
“When I was in ICU, my feet pointed straight down. I couldn’t put my heels down, and I had to learn how to walk all over again,” Grommon said.
“I had a lot of nerve damage in my feet. I tried every cream on the market … and they did very little for me,” she said. “This is the first foot cream that I have used that has really relieved my pain.”
Grommon said she has been able to cut back on her use of Lyrica, a prescription medication for nerve pain.
“I can go shopping without feeling pain. … I can wear shoes that I couldn’t wear,” she said. “I will definitely continue using it, probably for the rest of my life.”
Grommon said she applies the cream to her feet once a day. A 1-ounce jar of cream costs $50 and lasts her about a month. The shop’s other products run from $50 for a gel stick to $90 for a jar of 30 capsules to $125 for a bottle of drops.
Garza sells products from Mary’s Medicinals, Pure Hemp Botanicals and White Elk Creations, all Colorado companies.
Drug test questions
Probably the No. 1 question Garza said he gets is whether the compounds from the hemp will show up on a drug test.
“Nobody seems to know,” he said. “It’s pretty much conjecture at this point, and everybody seems to think differently. I think it would show up as a trace, if anything.”
To be able to give his customers a better answer, Garza and two volunteers used higher-than-normal amounts of CBD pain-relief products for a few days and then took a drug test last week. He expects the results Monday, and he’ll post them on Mad Mountain’s Facebook page.
“It would be a huge relief for someone who wants pain relief but is a DOT driver or nurse or teacher or construction worker who gets tested regularly,” he said. “I hope it becomes a little less scary for people.”
The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 970-775-2108.