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Open letter to the State of Louisiana House of Representatives:

To all honorable Representatives in the State of Louisiana,

My name is Regina Tyndall, I am the owner of Old Paths Natural Market, a local health food store in Central City, LA that is 100% woman owned and operated. I write to you today as a business owner, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend.

Earlier this week, I attended a committee meeting at the Capitol concerning SB237. Unfortunately, I was not given the chance to speak on behalf of Louisiana retailers and customers who use hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD and THC products as I was prepared to do. It was challenging to sit and listen to the arguments, knowing that my voice and the voices of my customers went unheard. There were many uncontested mistruths. I kindly request that you would take a few moments to read what I believe is the most important issue that has been missing from the debate surrounding THC products to date: my customers. I am not a politician, a lobbyist, a great writer or speaker, but I am passionate about health and liberty and I love my customers deeply. I am confident if you would reach out to other owners of health food stores throughout the state you will find similar, if not, exact remarks as I am bringing before you today.


When I opened my health food store in 2018, I had already been on a personal health journey for over a decade. However, I initially knew very little about hemp-derived CBD. As a Christian and a conservative with a history of drug use in my youth, I was hesitant to introduce CBD products in my store. My uncertainty disappeared after researching and understanding the significant differences between hemp and marijuana, which were addressed as being the same during the committee meeting. I also learned that every one of us has an endocannabinoid system that responds favorably to cannabinoids like THC and CBD, potentially bringing balance to the body and alleviating pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

Early on, I asked customers about their reasons for using these products and was often astonished by their reports. They shared remarkable improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, skin issues, and more. Many used it to counteract the detrimental affects of chemo on their body. While I am cautious about making exaggerated claims or presenting full-spectrum CBD as a cure-all, I must admit that the testimonies about these products never disappointed me. My favorite stories are always those of CBD alleviating pain, told to me often with tears or how it helped people break free from opioid addictions. This is especially profound considering the heartbreaking reality that 2 million people in the United States suffer from opioid addiction, often starting on these drugs due to chronic pain. Many of us are all too familiar with the devastation these addictions cause in families. For these individuals, full-spectrum CBD offers a legal, inexpensive alternative to dangerous drugs.


The voices of responsible hemp users are not being heard in this matter. Many critics use statistics from marijuana and other illicit drugs to argue against hemp-derived THC. The issue was also misrepresented in committee as if these hemp-derived CBD products were unregulated, when in fact, they are heavily regulated with safeguards in place to prevent children from accessing them.


From our observations, the median age of customers purchasing our CBD products is approximately 60 years old. I have never, not once in 5 years, had children come into my store trying to buy these products. It is the elderly who feel they need them and cannot afford the marijuana dispensaries. Our clientele are responsible individuals seeking to improve their quality of life, not those looking for a legal high. Many have previously used prescription medications but found the side effects intolerable. Some turn to CBD after exhausting all mainstream medical options. Hemp-derived CBD and THC provide the relief they need for insomnia, anxiety, pain and more.


My team and I diligently strive to stay informed about our products to effectively guide our customers in their decisions on using THC and CBD products. We ensure that customers receive proper assistance on dosages and usage before we hand over any product. Our customers trust and appreciate our guidance, and we deeply value each person who walks through our doors. We would never knowingly sell a product that could harm them.


The change in THC serving laws last year caused some panic among our customers. Many feared that access to the product they consider a miracle could be taken away. Their fears are now being realized in SB237. However, because these products have been so effective in improving their lives, they are committed to continuing their use. We were able to help them adjust their usage according to the new regulations last year. Despite this, some customers began ordering online to stick with their established regimen. I can say with certainty that whether this bill passes or not, our customers will continue using these products, either by ordering online or visiting other states to obtain them.


Preventing the responsible sale of CBD and THC products locally will not stop Louisianians from using them; it will only drive them to purchase these products elsewhere. This situation has several impacts: local economies will lose revenue, small businesses like mine will lose customers, and, the most important consideration in my opinion, our customers, particularly the elderly, could become vulnerable to scams and unreliable companies when seeking products online. Buying online removes these customers from guidance and care of local stores.

Louisiana passed a medical marijuana law in 2015, providing invaluable access in safe facilities for those needing stronger THC products for medical conditions. While effective for some, this route is expensive, not covered by insurance and Medicare, and not everyone responds favorably to the potency of marijuana. There are also individuals who do not require the intensity of marijuana but still need relief from a similar, but milder, substance found in hemp-derived CBD and THC products. I equate this with using over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen daily for chronic pain, or needing a pain medicine dispensed from a pharmacy. These individuals are my customers.

The regulations implemented over the last five years for these products are sufficient and effective. Small health food stores like mine are monitored by the ATC, and our customers are law-abiding citizens. We only use products approved through the Louisiana Department of Health. It was offensive to hear proponents of this bill make unfounded accusations, lumping my customers together with drug users and malcontents looking for a "high". For this reason, I am speaking out on their behalf. If there is a presumed need of more regulation, this would be a better and more effective course of action and debate than just wiping out an entire industry and local access for citizens to a product they want.


I believe CBD is a gift from God, who designed the plant to include THC as an integral part of its natural synergy of cannabinoids thereby making it effective with minimum side effects and harm to the body. I have personally used CBD and THC and successfully recommended them for my elderly mother, my children, friends, and my brother-in-law, who was dying of ALS, helping him with pain and sleep and still able to interact with his family. I've even used it for my dog on many occasions. I went from being unaware of these products to valuing them greatly, as they have enabled me to help many people over the past five years.

Please visit and call health food store owners through out the state and ask about their daily experience with customers who use products containing THC before you vote to ban it outright, before you take away the livelihood of a whole sector of Louisiana. I am confident their testimony will collaborate what I have expressed here. I humbly ask you to keep this supplement accessible to those in Louisiana who value the efficacy of product that helps them with sleep, pain, anxiety and much more. I am available for further questions and clarifications at the number listed below.


Ms. Regina Tyndall

Old Paths Natural Market

Central City, LA



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