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Cannabidiol Food and Drink in Milwaukee

Tuesday, November 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheila Julson, Shepherd Express

Cannabidiol (CBD) has grown to become one of the most popular compounds of the hemp plant due to its touted anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties without any psychoactive effects. Since the State of Wisconsin legalized the growing of industrialized hemp nearly a year ago, growers, producers and sellers of hemp and hemp-infused food and beverages have gotten in on the ground floor of this budding industry.

John Ross Ferrell, a.k.a. Johnny Stallion, founder of PhiloÇoffia, launched a line of CBD-infused cold brew and bottled espresso shots this past fall. He partners with Waukesha’s Café de Arts for roasting, and he bottles at Lincoln Warehouse in Bay View.

Ferrell first learned about CBD through a neighbor at Lincoln Warehouse, Mary Pellettieri of Top Note Tonic, which prompted him to research CBD’s medicinal benefits. He began experimenting and found that adding full spectrum CBD to coffee moderated some negative effects from coffee like "the jitters,” while enhancing relaxation and mental focus.

PhiloÇoffia’s CBD-infused coffee products are sold at Outpost Natural Foods, Beans & Barley, Good Harvest Market, Café de Arts, Health Hut’s Brookfield location, Sugar & Flour Bakery Café and MOR Bakery & Café. Ferrell said the CBD-infused cold brew and espresso now comprise over half of his sales. Ferrell also has other products in the works: Zuss—a play on Zeus, the Greek god—is a sports tablet that combines CBD with caffeine and vitamins that’s designed for a convenient pre-workout boost.

Ferrell currently gets CBD from Colorado but plans to source from Wisconsin growers once our state’s hemp industry takes hold. In an effort to promote the local hemp businesses, he founded Cannabisconsin (, an organization to serve as a resource for farmers, retailers, processors and consumers. "It’s a place where consumers can find content or articles about legal issues surrounding cannabis, as well as anything new in Wisconsin.”

Canni Hemp Co. (810 S. Fifth St.) is a play on the question "Can I?” and was founded by local musician Colin Plant, who had always had an appreciation for cannabis and led a holistic lifestyle for much of his adulthood. His work in the tech industry brought him in contact with cannabis operations in Colorado.

"The recreational and medicinal markets seemed very lucrative, and I dove into what would eventually be a giant wave that’s sweeping the country at this point,” Plant said. He researched the therapeutic and health benefits of CBD oil, and he and his wife noticed their quality of life improve. Opening a shop seemed like a logical next step. Canni Hemp Co. officially opened on Saturday, Oct. 20, with CBD infused-edibles, oils, health and beauty products and pet care. "We created a comfortable, embracing, boutique ambiance for all ages, versus a feel that’s like a head shop,” Plant said.

Canni Hemp Co. is constantly expanding their CBD-infused edibles. They carry coffee and tea by Florida-based Green Roads, Pure Bliss granola bars and dry-roasted hemp seeds and hemp hearts, which can be sprinkled on salads or snacked on right out the bag. Canni Hemp Co. carries three flavors of CBD-infused chocolates from Vermont-based Pryzm Hempworks and tonic oils flavored with black pepper or maple syrup, ideal for cold dishes or smoothies.

Plant plans to offer "cooking with CBD” classes, and he’s partnering with local restaurants to work on infusion ideas under a Canni brand of cooking oils. He’s also in the midst of producing a line of CBD hot sauce.

Jennifer Kawczynski, a clinical aromatherapist and owner of ErthScentials, has been in business for two years selling natural health and beauty products at events and local retail outlets. She will open a brick-and-mortar store on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1200 E. Oklahoma Ave., where she will feature a line of hemp cooking products likes hemp-leaf seasoning and CBD-infused coconut oil.

Other edibles include CBD gummies in almost every animal shape and CBD-infused lollipops, chews, hard candies, chocolate bars and hemp chocolate chunks. Because Kawczynski strives to educate consumers about CBD, she plans to continue doing community events after the store opens. ErthScentials will also offer CBD coffee drinks, energy drinks and their own CBD tea line. "There are so many exciting things coming!” Kawczynski enthused.

According to Matthew Wetzel of Laughing Grass Hemp (1412 S. 72nd St.), his shop is one of the first Colorado-style, CBD-only dispensaries in the Milwaukee area. Open since Wednesday, Sept. 19, Laughing Grass offers CBD rolled joints, oils, creams and hemp flowers, as well as a full line of edibles such as gummies and lollipops. They’ve recently partnered with MKE Kitchen, which provides commercial kitchen space in Riverwest to craft CBD-infused bakery.

414 Hemp, owned by former Milwaukee alderman Michael McGee Jr. and partner Maya Mays, offers hemp-infused cookies, savory and fruit snacks and dog treats, as well as lotions and oils at a store in Mayfair Mall. They also have a presence at Brookfield Square and have expanded into markets in Madison and Appleton, with names based on the local area codes. There’s also High Tea, owned by Jodi Denton, that offers CBD honey infusions in sticks and bottled form, in six flavors (

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