CHESAPEAKE, Va. – When Denise Foster decided to leave her 37-year career as a nurse to open Hemp Haven in Chesapeake, it wasn’t for the money. She said it was to promote the health benefits of CBD.
“When I recognized the efficacy, the effectiveness of these products, these compounds in these plants; and that’s what made me passionate to share this education and knowledge with the community,” Foster said.
Foster was a cannabis nurse for several years where she learned the ins and outs of medical marijuana. She also used to be a board member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.
Because of her background, Foster knew she was up for the job when she opened up shop in August to sell CBD, a hemp component in cannabis that doesn’t make you high.
“The products I carry are quality; they’re safe, because that’s my number one priority,” said Foster. “They are non-toxic. There is no such thing as a lethal dose, so no one will ever overdose on these compounds.”
According to Foster, CBD and hemp products are used to treat anything from pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety, chronic illness and more. She said the products are also safe for use on animals.
“All mammals have an endocannabinoid system,” she said. “It helps them with all the same conditions it helps humans with.”
CBD has been growing in popularity over the past few years. If recreational marijuana becomes legalized in the Commonwealth, Foster said the state and the industry as a whole could see an economic boom.
“The enormous amount of demand has been driving the industry,” she said.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) recently announced his support for legalizing recreational marijuana for adults in the state. On Nov. 30, he released a report on the impacts.
If weed does become legal, the business owner wouldn’t be opposed to becoming an independent dispensary for medical or adult-use.
“I would not say no; I would welcome an opportunity,” said Foster. “I’m always up for the challenge….It does have a purpose as long as there are regulations enacted that are safe and as long as there are standards that are enacted that are safe that recognizes that these do have a potential for disuse and abuse.”
Currently, there are five dispensaries approved in the state. In the last legislative session, lawmakers agreed to having five per health service area, so there will be 25 more dispensaries in the next few years.
Only time will tell, however, if recreational pot will become legal or not.
Experts say legalization of marijuana would bring both positives and negatives