For the first time, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has accepted a CBD business as a member. San Antonio is now the first major Texan city with a CBD business included in its Chamber of Commerce. The commerce chambers of Keller and Greater Heights also include CBD businesses.
Richard Perez, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, was skeptical when he saw a membership application from a shop called “Your CBD Store.”
“When the application came in, I thought, ‘No way,’” Perez said.
But Adam Hamilton, the president and CEO of Southwest Research Institute and chair-elect of the Chamber of Commerce, helped change his mind.
“He was very clear that CBD oil indeed is a substance that can provide relief and can enhance people’s quality of life — very different from marijuana, and in particular the THC, which is the substance within marijuana that gets you high,” Perez said.
Many CBD stores opened in and around San Antonio several months ago, during a time when the legality of CBD products was still hazy. That haze cleared when House Bill 1325 became law in early June. The bill defines legal CBD products as containing under .3% THC.
The decision to include Your CBD Store in the Chamber of Commerce was not based solely on House Bill 1325. Your CBD Store only offers tinctures and topicals. If they carried smokeable or vape-able products, the Chamber would have rejected their membership application.
“At this point, we’re looking only for the tincture/ointment kind of thing — oil, that sort of thing,” Perez said. “We, I think, are much more leery about any kind of vaping.”
The majority of CBD shops in San Antonio carry smokeable and vape-able products in addition to tinctures and ointments. For now, those stores are unable to enjoy the benefits of membership within the Chamber of Commerce. Those benefits include access to the Chamber’s network of businesses and to a seat at the table where the Chamber decides whether to advocate for or against certain city, state and federal policies.
Randy Hurst, the owner of the Your CBD Store in the Dominion, hopes San Antonio residents will consider CBD products before seeking powerful prescription drugs.
“There is a health benefit to these other things, and big pharmaceuticals aren’t always the answer, and that this gives people the power to take their health back into their own hands,” Hurst said.
About a month ago, Perez’s wife broke her knee cap, and his new perspective on the benefits of CBD inspired him to recommend a different approach to her pain treatment.
“Because of just going through this process and hearing what this stuff could do, we went to these guys and got some of that — you know, an ointment. And it was amazing — the pain relief she was able to feel,” Perez said.
Your CBD Store is a national chain with locations in several states. The location in the Dominion is the only shop in the chain to be included in the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
Dominic Anthony Walsh can be reached at Dominic@tpr.org.