Hemp becomes growing sector in Alabama agriculture

Hemp becomes growing sector in Alabama agriculture

GREENVILLE, AL (WSFA) - Danan Whiddon is flying high with her Sweet Heart Alabama business, and it has nothing to do with the hemp oil she’s selling.

“It was time to try my dream shop," she said.

A dream shop that now includes CBD as part of her new venture as a licensed herbalist. Chloe Langston is a believer. Langston squeezes two drops under the tongue everyday.

“It also helps with my anxiety. Sometimes I take it in the morning when I feel a little anxious for the day," Langston said.

“With the UAB study, we know now it helps children with certain epilepsy," Whiddon said.

The idea of growing hemp in Alabama is catching on. The Alabama Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a two-day class next month for growers and processors who’ve been accepted in the state’s pilot programs, a two-day class focusing on what growers and processors can and can’t do.

“We all have to be on the same page. Now just pharmacists but herbal health practitioners but also law enforcement and there should be regulations we can all agree with," said Whiddon.

For now, pharmacies are not allowed to sell the oil. That could change in the near future as the regulations become more clear.

Danan Whiddon says the oil has become a top five seller in her store but also admitted she’s had a couple of customers who’ve experienced no benefits with the oil.

“Does it do everything the marketing claims? No. That’s why I want people to be educated and know what it can and can’t do," said Whiddon.

That’s why Whiddon wants to be part of that education process, one she is more than happy to talk about and erase the stigma along the way.

“We’re not talking about the marijuana plant. We’re talking about cannabis as the umbrella of the cannabis plant," she said.

Danan Whiddon has no idea where the industry will be in 10 years. What she does know is CBD is for real for certain ailments and Chloe Langston is living proof it works for her.

“It has an olive oil taste to it,” said Langston.

Some of the regulations being written now for growers include a minimum of 5 acres to grow hemp and be clearly visible from the air so state drug agents can fly over during periodic checks.

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