A family known locally for its real estate and Christian products businesses is finding success in an oil boom — CBD oil, to be exact.
Adam Swanson is leading the effort to develop and sell CBD oil, or Cannabidiol, extracted from industrial hemp plants, which have lower amounts of THC than marijuana.
Swanson is the CEO of Swanson Christian Products and a vice president of Swanson Developments. He is also the businessman behind Gen 1:29 CBD Oil, both a product line with about 100 items and a retail store at 820 N. Thompson Lane.
He said he believes God gave people plants and minerals for “food,” based on reading Genesis 1:29, so that was the inspiration for the CBD oil company.
Swanson launched Gen 1:29 last year as both a brand and a company that provides unlabeled CBD products for others to brand themselves. As a wholesaler, his product is sold in about 20 stores locally. Now, he is in the process of launching a new brand, Smoky Mountain CBD Oil. That store held a soft opening around the end of December at 1480 S. Church St.
The company is considering opening a store in Manchester in the first quarter of this year, he said.
Swanson said he wants to target the new brand mostly in the Smoky Mountains area due to the high traffic count. He has contacts from existing business relationships in that area to help him carry his plan out.
One aspect of the new business line is still being evaluated, Swanson said. Last year they grew five acres of industrial hemp at a site in Coffee County. The effort was a lot of work and very stressful, “all-consuming and took attention away from other projects.”
It was challenging because of the wet season, it was labor-intensive and there were unknowns from federal law. He said he researched the product and decided it was legal to sell. However, he said he has not decided whether to grow industrial hemp again.
Swanson said attitudes toward hemp may change since President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill last month that legalizes, on a federal level, hemp cultivation and the transfer of products created from it across state lines.
He said he researched the touted benefits of CBD oil and believes it can help people with a range of issues from ADHD to panic disorder to pain relief. The products range from an oil to place under the tongue to gummies to mints.