At first glance, the interior of Hemp Healer Dispensary looks like an upscale, boutique pharmacy. A variety of lotions, gels, and food packages are neatly arranged in sparkling glass display cases, along with apothecary jars filled with robust plant buds in various shades of green. Brochures about the products for sale provide on-the-spot information, and the friendly folks behind the counter are at the ready to offer advice on the best remedy for specific ailments.

Despite the similarities, Hemp Healer is a decidedly different place than the average community drugstore. Owned and operated by Nick, Hollie, and Mark Hill, Hemp Healer Dispensary is one of several local retail sources for cannabinoid (CBD) products, and the Hills frequently greet new customers with the story of their journey into opening the business.

“Our son, Nick, brought the idea to us as a way to help others discover the same thing that helped him,” says Hollie. “He was a baseball player in great shape and on his way to playing in college when he first became sick. After CBD oil helped him, he said, ‘Maybe this is my new passion.’ He wanted to educate and help others by sharing what worked for him.”

The Hills encouraged their son to channel his newfound passion into a working plan. Mark helped him create a business plan, file for LLC designation, and figure out how much he would have to sell to be profitable.

“Somehow, it all came together,” Mark says, smiling at Nick.

Tall, affable, and relaxed, Nick recalls how CBD oil helped alleviate the pain caused by his eventual diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

“Before we started this business, it was all about getting better,” Nick says. “Now I see people come back into the store and they are feeling better — everyone from an older gentleman with lupus to a truck driver with anxiety. And I’ve learned so much by doing this — it’s like earning a business degree without going to school.”

CBD products have been available online for years and touted as having health benefits that include everything from treating seizures to nausea and anxiety, among others. After researching options, the Hills wanted to offer a local source for organically grown and third-party lab-tested goods, and although hemp is legal in all 50 states, they are quick to point out that buying from a reputable dealer is crucial.

“CBD products can be made with hemp, as they are in North Carolina, or with marijuana, which has THC and is illegal here,” Mark says. “That’s one of the things we explain to people — products made with hemp won’t get you high.”

From an agricultural standpoint, hemp has become a new crop for farmers who once grew tobacco. Many are making significant investments with the goal of providing a quality hemp source for local businesses, and Hollie encourages local buyers to support their efforts.

“It’s so important to go to a reputable dispensary,” she says. “Don’t go to a gas station, and you have to be so careful if you order online. You are not going to find quality oil for $20.”

Want To Go?

What: Hemp Healer Dispensary

Where: 460-B Knollwood St.

More info: 336-448-5375 or hemphealerdispensary.com.

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