The sleepless hours receive some credit for two things in Jerry Collins’ life: his path to CBD oil and the start of his business.
Now, Collins is just over one month into selling CBD products to others through Big Dream Organics, his store in Skyline Plaza on West Main Street.
“I couldn’t sleep, and so I got up and filed for the formation of an LLC,” Collins said of the company’s start. This is also how it got its name.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis not intended for drug use. CBD is distinguished from THC, the main active component in marijuana. In CBD products, the legal limit of THC is 0.3%.
CBD has been used for chronic pain management, as an anti-inflammatory and to help manage anxiety, among other uses.
“I think anxiety is probably the biggest one,” he said.
But others also use it for the reason Collins began using CBD about one and a half years ago: to help him sleep.
“Why can’t I get it anywhere here in town?” he said he thought.
The exception was gas stations, and store co-owner Angie Obermeyer said if those don’t work for you, you can’t usually go back and get advice on what will work better from the gas station attendant.
This is part of Collins’ goal with the store, he said: to be a go-to source for information and education on CBD for the community. He acknowledges he is not a health professional, and encourages CBD consumers to do their research — including consult their primary care physician — before trying CBD, just like you would before starting a keto diet, he said.
For his part, that research includes only carrying CBD products that are third-party tested and who make their product’s lab reports available to consumers.
“Any CBD you purchase, if you can’t get the lab reports for it, you shouldn’t consume it,” he said.
In the time the business has been open, Collins said the response has been almost wholly positive. He was originally planning to open in Austin, but someone asked him why rather than Albert Lea. He didn’t have an answer, he said, and the idea of shopping local kept running through his mind.
At Big Dream Organics, Collins sells CBD oils, salves, tinctures, gel caps, edibles, pet products, energy drinks and a pre-rolled CBD flower.
Customers will return not only for advice, but with success stories, Obermeyer said.
“Those just make my heart happy,” she said.