The owner of Hodge Podge Fine Furnishings in Lowell and of a horse farm by Beecher has long suffered from a number of ailments, including lupus.
Preferring not to take potentially addictive prescribed medications or over-the-counter drugs, Debra Campbell sought various natural relief alternatives like massage therapy, acupuncture and naturopathic care.
Eventually, she tried CBD, the recently legalized cannabidiol from cannabis plants. It was a revelation.
So she launched her own CBD distribution, wholesaling and retail business to evangelize for the palliative properties of CBD.
"I believe in giving back," Campbell said. "I want to share the love. I was telling my family and friends to use it and that it made me feel great, and it grew from there."
She founded Copper Leaf Organics, hiring a contract manufacturer in Colorado to produce premium-grade CBD products under the Copper Leaf brand. She distributes Copper Leaf CBD for people, pets and horses to several local stores, doctors and veterinarians. She sells Copper Leaf Organics-branded CBD products online nationwide, shipping to all 50 states.
Copper Leaf Organics' new Cedar Lake headquarters at 13530 Morse St. includes a 3,000-square-foot retail showroom open to the public, but that's not the sole focus.
The new headquarters, which opened less than two months ago, also serves as a distribution center and features an office, stockroom and education center where she teaches wholesale customers like pharmacies about the products.
"All of our customers can come in for free and get training and train the staff at their retail stores," Campbell said. "We have classes set up where we train our wholesale accounts. We have about 10 to 15 people per class where they learn about CBD, how it works and the benefits of the products."
Copper Leaf Organics sells a variety of products including tinctures, soft gels, hemp salves, dog treats, topical creams and tinctures for dogs and horses. It's looking to add new products including equine pellets for horses.
"You can put it in their food and it's good for mood and anxiety, such as if they're traveling, trailering or it's before showtime," she said. "It also works on their joints and joints are a big deal in the horse industry."
All of the products are made with organic hemp and tested to ensure they don't have enough THC to trigger a false positive on a drug test, Campbell said. The company sells them directly to customers and at wholesale prices to brick-and-mortar retailers, including white-label or private-label versions so stores can create their own distinctive brands.
The business is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 1-7 p.m. Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.copperleaforganics.com or call 219-374-4367.
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