by PAUL BICKLEY
Bloomington native and Bell’s Auto Sales owner Jared Bell suffered back pain. His doctors prescribed opioids. “They pretty much doped me up to shut me up,” says Bell, 43. A friend suggested cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical compound in Cannabis sativa plants processed into consumable oil for the treatment of pain and other maladies. “I noticed some positive effects from it,” Bell says.
Curious, Bell searched for better CBD products and found an organic farm in Colorado producing oil from medicinal hemp strains that had higher CBD levels. Bell tried the oil, noticed a big improvement, and decided to help others by parlaying his connection with the supplier into a business. Bell Family Dispensary launched online in April 2018, opened as an Ellettsville brick-and-mortar two months later, and moved to 1000 N. Walnut in Bloomington in January.
Marijuana and hemp are two different strains of Cannabis, Bell says. On average, marijuana is 25% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that makes people high; hemp is just 0.3%. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp farming across the country, and last year’s Indiana Senate Bill 52 legalized sales of CBD that is no more than 0.3% THC and verified as such by an independent lab. CBD is non-psychoactive. “We have police officer customers,” Bell says. “Doctors refer patients here.”
According to some publications and customers, Bell says, CBD oil relieves not only pain but also stress, decreases or eliminates seizures and insomnia, and reduces ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. “Most of our customers are 65-plus. They’ve found relief from arthritic and back pain,” Bell says. “We’re seeing more young customers now; they take our products for stress.”
The shop sells CBD oil in concentrates, edibles, transdermals, capsules, and other forms. Grandma’s Hemp Full-Spectrum CBD Oil (the dispensary’s own trademarked brand) sells best, followed by bath bombs (produced by Bell’s wife, Summer), softgels, and gummy candies. There are even CBD dog biscuits to calm pets during storms.
“My wife, brother Jason, and mom help out,” Bell says. “This product is coming from our family. We all believe in it.”
For more information, visit wesellhemp.com.