The sign on the door of Purple Hemp Co. on Victoria Road North in Summerland advertises “Medical Cannabis Consultation,” but there is no medical cannabis or medical marijuana to be found in the store.
Instead, Chris and Elaine Nuessler, her daughter Courtney Williams and son in law Jared Williams carry an assortment of predominantly hemp products.
They also offer alternative health care treatments including reflexology, massage and reiki, as well as the services of a whole-plant nutritionist.
“We’re trying to open up the mind to more natural health products,” Elaine Nuessler said. “We’re trying to get people to look at what they’re using.”
They also provide information about the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
Williams’s five-year-old daughter Kyla was the inspiration for the retail store, which opened in mid-July.
Kyla has been taking a cannabis oil treatment, Charlotte’s Web, to control her intractable epilepsy.
Before taking the oil, Kyla would have more than 300 seizures in a day. Now, using the oil treatment, she has one or two seizures every couple of months.
It was a lengthy battle for the family to receive the permission necessary to bring the oil treatment to Canada from Colorado.
Charlotte’s Web is high in cannabidiol, with very little tetrahydrocannabinol. Because of this, it does not induce the psychoactive high typically associated with marijuana.
Elaine Nuessler and Courtney Williams say Purple Hemp Co. is an extension of their own philosophy towards medical cannabis and its role in healing.
“The Purple Hemp Co. is an environment where one can learn about cannabis for health and feel comfortable talking about cannabis as a health regime,” information on the store’s website reads.
The store carries predominantly hemp products including skin products, dietary supplements, clothing and accessories, with a focus on locally derived products.
Tea from Westholme Tea Farm and fresh juices from Pure Gym and Juicery are also available. Chris Nuessler, a retired RCMP officer, operates the green smoothie bar in the store.
They also plan to hold educational evenings in the future, to provide additional information about medical cannabis.
While the store has opened its doors, a formal grand opening will be held later.
“This is our adventure as a family,” Elaine Nuessler said. “We’re going through all of this together.”