Blair’s Unlikely Vape Shop Boom, Part One: From Earth Wellness

Blair Nebraska Vape Shops

The CBD industry in Nebraska has seen remarkable growth since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives, including cannabidiol (CBD) products. The increasing popularity of CBD shops in cities like Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney can be attributed to the potential health benefits of CBD, which has been used to manage pain, inflammation, anxiety, and other ailments. Nebraska’s Department of Agriculture (NDA) regulates the state’s hemp program, ensuring CBD products meet strict standards, including containing less than 0.3% THC and obtaining a license to sell hemp-derived products.

CBD shops in Nebraska offer a diverse range of products such as oils, tinctures, edibles, topicals, and even pet products, catering to various consumer preferences. The market has also witnessed a surge in innovative CBD-infused products like beverages, skincare items, and supplements. However, the industry faces challenges stemming from the lack of clear federal guidelines on CBD product labeling and marketing, which can cause confusion for consumers and retailers alike. Additionally, the stigma surrounding cannabis products persists and may deter potential customers.

Despite these challenges, the future of CBD shops in Nebraska remains promising. As more research emerges, highlighting CBD’s potential benefits, consumer demand is expected to rise. Nebraska’s commitment to regulating and ensuring the safety and quality of CBD products will contribute to the industry’s continued growth and success. With a strong focus on consumer safety and product quality, Nebraska is poised to become a significant player in the burgeoning CBD market.

In the past two years, three vape and CBD shops opened in Blair. This local trend echoes the nationwide surge in such businesses driven by growing interest in alternative wellness solutions, smoking cessation, and the federal legalization of hemp-derived CBD through the 2018 Farm Bill. Candy and Pat Mefferd, owners of From Earth Wellness, share their experience of opening a vape shop in a small town and their mission to educate the community on CBD and vaping.

The couple, who have lived in Blair for 20 years and run five shops across Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota, decided to open a vape shop in Blair after encountering an older woman whose experience with CBD highlighted the lack of information on the benefits of CBD and its legal limits in Nebraska. They explained, “We felt people involved were uneducated about what CBD actually was and the legal limits for Nebraska. So we felt it was time to make a stand.”

From Earth Wellness (Facebook private group) distinguishes itself from other vape shops in the area by offering, what they say are, high-quality products from reputable sources and prioritizing customer service. The Mefferds credit their long-lasting relationships with wholesalers and their well-educated, friendly staff for the shop’s success: “We strive for top quality and great personal customer service.”

To engage the local community, the Mefferds joined the Chamber of Commerce and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their shop. They recounted the event, saying, “It was a great opportunity to educate people who normally would never step foot in a place like a vape/CBD shop. They left with a better understanding of what we do and why we chose Blair.”

Amid nationwide concerns about vaping-related health issues, the Mefferds have been proactive in sharing customer success stories to address these concerns. They explained, “We tell them our customer success stories. Stories that we hear often. Like about how they’ve smoked for years and since they quit and switched to healthier alternatives, they feel so much better.”

The Mefferds also shared that CBD and Delta products have played a major role in helping people in Blair ease chronic pain, alleviate anxiety, and manage insomnia. They even offer CBD products for pets and have heard incredible stories about the benefits experienced by their customers’ furry companions.

Their commitment to education extends to staying informed about the latest advancements in the vaping and CBD industries. The Mefferds focus on providing top-quality products and promoting responsible use within the community. They emphasized their dedication to verifying customers’ ages, saying, “We send a strong message right at the door that our products are intended for 21 and over. No one enters without an ID.”

The Mefferds have observed that their customers range from 21 to 80 years old. They noted that “older folks love our Delta products for the pain-relieving/relaxing benefits.” They have also seen a change in the acceptance of their products among the older community members, who initially tried to visit the shop discreetly.

From Earth Wellness plans to continue expanding their product offerings and promoting self-care and education on the benefits of vaping and CBD products in the Blair community. The Mefferds shared their vision for the future: “We’re expanding new product lines weekly. And we advocate and promote overall wellness and better quality of life every day.”

As the debate over the safety and regulation of vaping and CBD products continues at the national level, Candy and Pat Mefferd’s mission to provide education and promote responsible use of their products offers an example of how local businesses can contribute to informed consumption. Their diverse customer base, ranging from young adults to senior citizens, reflects the broad appeal of their products and their dedication to serving the community’s needs.

Moreover, the Mefferds have played a role in breaking down the stigma surrounding vape and CBD shops. Through their efforts, they have created an environment where customers feel comfortable discussing their experiences and needs. For example, they shared that customers haven’t been shy about providing feedback on their male enhancement products and how well they work.

The rise of vape and CBD shops in small towns like Blair, Nebraska, signals a growing interest in alternative wellness solutions nationwide. As the national discussion about the safety and regulation of these products continues, the experiences and initiatives of local businesses like From Earth Wellness contribute to a broader understanding of the impact and potential of the vaping and CBD industries in communities across the United States.

Footnote: This article is not an endorsement of From Earth Wellness. My personal opinions about vaping generally, or CBD specifically, are not in this article. In the same way I wrote about another CBD business in Blair, this is about a business trend in Blair, Nebraska that cannot be ignored. You may not like it, you might not understand it, and that plus a nickel won’t even get you a cup of coffee. My use of the coffee metaphor is appropriate since there are people who believe caffeine is bad. And, tobacco. And, alcohol. So, while you and I may have an opinion about the business model, this article isn’t about that. From Earth Wellness is a legal business in Blair, Nebraska that is part of a growing sector of the economy. If you don’t like it, take it up with Mayor Mindy Rump, the Blair City Council, or Nebraska Senator Ben Hansen (who proudly helped get LB236 passed).

Written and Edited by Don Harrold for BlairToday. Email with corrections.

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