Business has been steady at Boulder Mountain Botanicals on Main Street in Hailey since it opened on Nov. 16. It’s the first retail store in Blaine County dedicated to the sale of products made from hemp, a close cousin of marijuana.
But unlike marijuana, which has more tetrahydrocannabinols, or THC—and therefore greater psychoactive properties—Boulder Mountain Botanicals focuses on cannabidiol products, or CBD, which proprietor Paul Hopfenbeck says has myriad healing uses.
Hopfenbeck said he started using CBD when he had cancer and was going through a divorce. He said the therapeutic effects have been beneficial.
“It allowed me to sleep peacefully through the night,” Hopfenbeck said. “Any time you can take a step away from Tylenol and ibuprofen and use a natural product with good anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, that’s a good thing.”
Still, some products for sale at the store are illegal under state law, and county law enforcement practices regarding the products remain uncertain. Customers take a risk in shopping there for potentially illegal merchandise.
Many stores in the Wood River Valley now offer CBD lotions, soaps and ointments. Idaho Lumber and Luke’s Pharmacy in Hailey have offerings. The Sun Valley Resort Spa offers a CBD and arnica massage experience. Luke’ Pharmacy’s over-the-counter offering without THC runs about $40 for a month supply. It was recommended for many ailments, including anxiety and depression.
Idaho law regarding hemp and marijuana has not changed in decades. It continues to prohibit “any quantity” of THC, the substance that induces mood changes and potential hallucinations. But, scientifically, hemp and marijuana are not considered to be separate plant species, which can make it hard to determine what is legal in Idaho and what is not. A 2015