For years, experts have predicted the CBD market will be worth $20 billion by the turn of the decade. If grocery store displays and avant garde business signs are any indication, the craze has hit southern Indiana particularly hard.

Grocery stores, independent shops and businesses with other niches have been buying into the selling of oils that are advertised to alleviate pain, anxiety, childhood epilepsy, joint pain and a host of other ailments. Anyone driving along South Walnut Street in Bloomington can see CBD oil signs on an array of businesses. In Bedford, signs surrounding the 1300 block of 16th Street announce that CBD oil is being sold at Family Video.

Since March 2018, the sale and use of cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD or hemp oil, has been legal in Indiana, as long as it has less than 0.03% THC and meets certain labeling requirements. THC is the mood-altering chemical in marijuana that can make a person “high.” Prior to March 2018, CBD’s legality was at issue in the state because it is made from cannabis plants. Once a law was put on the books to protect vendors who sell the oil, marketing and sales took off.

In the last 18 months, the Hoosier Times region has seen an increase in sales at variety shops, doctors’ offices, grocery stores, pet shops, antique stores, pharmacies, cafes and even hydroponic stores.

Tim Sylvester, manager of Stimline Variety Smoke Shop at 901 S. Walnut St., said the store has been selling CBD oil for five years. During that time, Stimline’s sales of the product have been steady, but the product has brought in people who may not have come in otherwise.

“It’s definitely 18 and up,” he said. “We see just as many senior clients as we do younger people, but what changes is what they’re taking it for. In my experience, the younger people are taking it for anxiety and stress. But for older people, it’s a physical issue that’s developed. It definitely has the most customer diversity.”
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