Milwaukee’s CBD Wave Fosters Home-Grown, All-Natural Business

An employee at TruCannaBliss prepares an order for a customer. In standard procedure, employees use gloves to handle cannabis products. (Photo by Ethan Duran)
An employee at TruCannaBliss prepares an order for a customer. In standard procedure, employees use gloves to handle cannabis products. (Photo by Ethan Duran)

By Ethan Duran

Since CBD’s legalization in 2014, Milwaukee has seen a wave of CBD stores and products both in the city and surrounding neighborhoods. The counters of most smoke and tobacco stores now carry cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical compound found in cannabis that treats anxiety and pain. Now that CBD has settled in Wisconsin, proprietors have started selling CBD-infused natural products like candles and lotion, opening a new frontier for the cannabidiol business.

TruCannaBliss opened in Brown Deer on Feb. 1 and specializes in selling vegan and organic CBD natural products. Like any other smoke shop, the counter is stocked with water pipes, rolling papers and plastic bags of little green nuggets in them, but the shelves are stocked with soap, candles and even CBD-infused bath bombs.

 

Ostaveeya Tye’s objective with TruCannaBliss is to provide CBD products that can be used in many different ways, so a customer can find a method they like the most. If one doesn’t enjoy CBD oils or gummies, they can try natural products from businesses from across the country. “We don’t upcharge,” said Tye, a co-owner of TruCannaBliss. “We try to find the most quality products and we try to make the customer happy with what they purchased.”

A UW-Milwaukee student and finance worker, Tye owns the store with her parents. “CBD is alternative medicine to me,” she said. “It does help relieve pain and anxiety. It’s not something that’s for everyone, but you can definitely find your niche in it.” Tye said there’s nothing special to opening a CBD business outside of the regular nitty-gritty work of entrepreneurship. If a store wants to grow its own hemp, it would need a special license.

Running a CBD shop comes with its own risks and challenges as well. Though CBD is legal to buy and sell in Wisconsin, federal law still applies to the product. Though Tye owns a natural products business, she can’t advertise them because they are infused with CBD. “I can’t post on Facebook about this store. I can’t do a promoted ad, because it is still considered an illegal substance,” Tye said, listing a few of the restrictions on her business.

Even with legal CBD and Governor Tony Evers pushing for legal medical cannabis in Madison, the CBD businesses still hang in the balance of federal legislation. “We can’t do very much on a city level,” Tye said. “We can get the word out and work with local politicians, but it all has to trickle up.”

Despite the long road ahead for cannabis, Tye said that her hopes are to see more stores and to get better products to serve people with.

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Courier

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