By: Seth Johnson
The state of Indiana and cannabis haven’t always had the best of relationships. This is something Higher Life CBD Dispensary is looking to change.
Since opening up over a year ago, the dispensary has been at the forefront of Indy’s cannabis movement, supplying local residents with all of their CBD needs. Started by cannabis enthusiast Brandon Howard, Higher Life CBD Dispensary carries a wide variety of CBD products, including edibles, flower, tinctures and more.
“Being from Indiana, the CBD wave is kind of exciting for us because we really don’t have that privilege of smoking marijuana with it being illegal here,” says Howard, who also owns Higher Life Cereal Cafe. “So it’s been pretty exciting. The business has been very, very steady.”
For Howard, Higher Life CBD Dispensary is more than just a business venture. Through his shops, Howard hopes to show Indianapolis residents what cannabis can really do for them.
“I’m into cannabis for the health benefits of it,” Howard says. “It helps out with anxiety, inflammation and things of that nature. I really wanted to get into it to help people break away from the opiates and stuff that doctors prescribe them.”
According to a statewide poll conducted in 2018, 81 percent of Indiana residents supported the legalization of medical marijuana. Of that number, 39 percent were also in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use as well.
In addition to these statistics, three of Indiana’s four neighboring states have legalized medical marijuana in recent years, with two of those (Illinois and Michigan) also legalizing marijuana for recreational use. This said, Howard wants customers to know he will be on the forefront of selling marijuana once it becomes legal in Indiana.
“I already have an established, known brand that carries quality cannabis products,” Howard says. “The only next phase will be to sell marijuana when we’re able to do that.”
In recent years, Howard has grown close ties with cannabis advocates in the Indy area, including William Henry and Jason Straw with Indiana NORML, First Church of Cannabis founder Bill Levin, IndyCann and Higher Fellowship founder Bobbie Young and many more. Howard has also been in constant conversation with state officials on both sides of the aisle who support marijuana legalization, including State Sen. Karen Tallian (D), State Rep. Jim Lucas (R) and State Rep. Sue Errington (D).
All in all, he hopes the city of Indianapolis knows that Higher Life CBD Dispensary is the real deal when it comes to cannabis, whether that’s CBD now or marijuana in the future.
“I’ve already put the footwork in as far as being in the cannabis business, so I want people to know I’m going to be that guy when legalization happens,” he says.