The store is owned by Joe and Penny Houdek, which is pronounced hoe-deck. They signed a lease Wednesday and plan to open sometime in May.
Joe Houdek knows he has some explaining to do when he tells people about the store.
“Some people look at me very strangely,” he said. “They ask ‘Are you going to sell drugs?’ There will be no drugs or paraphernalia. We’re primarily selling hemp clothing for men and women. Hemp has gotten a bad rap because of marijuana. Hemp is not marijuana, but they’re in the same family and the leaf is almost identical. There’s no THC (marijuana’s intoxicating ingredient) in hemp.”
Hemp is legal to import but not to grow in the U.S. It’s currently grown in China, Canada, Romania and Australia.
Houdek says clothing made with the fiber “breathes better than cotton and is very .” He says its a sustainable, eco-friendly fiber.
Besides clothing, the store will have hemp-based products including handbags, hats, belts, pet leashes and collars, bulk seed and oil.
“I believe it’s the most beneficial plant on earth,” Houdek said. “It’s something that I’m passionate about. I truly believe that it’s only a matter of time before we allow farmers to grow hemp in this country. I want to be on the forefront of that. I see it as the future.”