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CBD Crawl: South Austin

Images: Misty Contreras

South Austin is known for its food trucks and funky vibe, tight-knit retail communities and lack of parking, and yeah, we’re the meat eaters.  But a new wave has hit South Austin, and Austin as a whole: CBD dispensaries.  Texas is still anxiously awaiting legalization.  As of Sept 1, the availability of medical cannabis was widened and the dam was broke on the legal THC levels for medicinal purposes, a win for those suffering from PTSD and cancer.  A step in the right direction.

For the time being, we must take our victories where we can.  Hemp and CBD were made legal to grow and consume in the state of Texas in 2019.  Industrious entrepreneurs eagerly seized the opportunity to fill a niche and pioneer the CBD startup. 

Locally, we have seen the rise of a new market, and pandemic be damned!  The owners of these boutiques have survived the long quarantine and are severely knowledgeable and, in many cases, you will find them on-site.

My first stop was American Shaman, where owner, Julien Lamb, greeted me in the well-lit, cozy showroom. 

“Shamanism has roots in many cultures, in terms of healing and bringing knowledge back to help people.  American Shaman is kind of a play on that.  I think that’s the inception of the name.”

“We used to grow this stuff back in the 1800s, and make clothes out of it.  And during WWII all the rope was made out of hemp for the Navy.  In Australia they’re doing 3D printing of houses with hemp paste.  It could replace a lot of industries but there’s a lot of investment in that pre-established stuff.  We must have progress, progress by going back to what we used to do.  I grew up with D.A.R.E and that kind of fear-based rhetoric is the opposite of progress.  The lumber industry was huge against growing and cultivation of hemp because it’s a threat.  Hemp has a 90-day growing cycle, you don’t have to chop down forests anymore.  There’s been a hundred years of ‘reefer madness’ thanks to Harry Anslinger and the DEA.  My favorite thing is, D.A.R.E. has actually sent out a message of, ‘hey, we’re sorry about all the things we said about marijuana’.  That was actually posted on social media.”

“I grew up with D.A.R.E and that kind of fear-based rhetoric is the opposite of progress.  The lumber industry was huge against growing and cultivation of hemp because it’s a threat.  Hemp has a 90-day growing cycle, you don’t have to chop down forests anymore. ”

“I grew up with D.A.R.E and that kind of fear-based rhetoric is the opposite of progress.  The lumber industry was huge against growing and cultivation of hemp because it’s a threat.  Hemp has a 90-day growing cycle, you don’t have to chop down forests anymore.”

Hit Julien up to get some quality CBD products for you and your pet, cbdamericanshaman.com, 1901 W. Wm Cannon, Ste 109.

My next stop was Joy Organics, at 902 N. Lamar.  Owner, Danielle Smith, was on hand in the chic boho boutique and excited to show me the array of products they have available, from tinctures, gummies and dog treats, to energy drinks and bath bombs. 

A particular source of pride for Danielle is the launch of her own line of personal care products, Wild Bloom.  “I grew up conservative, and I want people to be able to feel comfortable about expressing their needs to achieve sexual wellness.”  Wild bloom is about inclusivity, and “facilitating a space of healing mind, body and spirit and empowering others to be their most authentic selves”.  Danielle actually had a hand in formulating the Wild Bloom CBD Pleasure Gel, a water-based gel that is safe for use with condoms and toys. 

Visit Joy Organics or joyorganics.com to put together a holiday gift set for your loved one.

Next was MaryJae, at 2110 S. Lamar Ste E.  Jae Graham, owner and founder of Mary Jae, knows firsthand the positive effects cannabis can offer to those suffering from cancer.  In 2000, Jae and her brother shared cannabis with their father, Larry, who was diagnosed with cancer and cirrhosis.  When doctors questioned why Larry’s quality of life had increased so dramatically, Jae was reluctant to share the truth with them, fearing prosecution.  After all, Hispanics are more than twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites.  But Larry lived another 10 years. 

This experience inspired Jae to “create a safe space where the elderly could come in, women, people of color, the queer community, everything that we are”.  Jae says that people have read Larry’s story, and they actually come in to her store seeking help for themselves or a family member.  Often, especially with older people, it is a moral issue.  They think CBD will get them high.  But as attitudes change and trends emerge, those in need will open their minds to the benefits of cannabis.

Stop in to Mary Jae, or check out their website, shopmaryjae.com.

This is the first in my series, “CBD Crawl” (think: “Pub Crawl”).  Hopefully I can entice you to visit one of these shops soon!

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