Leafy green emblems sprouting on bottles and bars of essential personal products are transforming the face of natural beauty, cultivating an expanding marketplace for local retailers.

While hemp-based beauty products have been popping up in mainstream shops increasingly over the years, a new Alberta Avenue business has gone completely green.

“Hemp is great,” said Hemper-Fi owner Colin Bott. “Your body absorbs it naturally with zero residue.”
The shop at 41 Street and 118 Avenue specializes in soaps, lotions, and feel-good products made from locally grown hemp.

While rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, omega 3, 6, 9 and essential fatty acids, the seed-pressed oil contains little to no psychoactive chemicals, unlike it’s smokable sister, marijuana.

In spite of stocking sobering products, opening the destination store has been a labour of love. The off-centre location was not for want, Bott said, having been turned away by a Whyte Avenue landlord.

Regardless, the stigma associated with hemp products, he feels, is slowly going up in smoke, as consumers learn the benefits of hemp.

“Traditionally when people think hemp, they think weed. They’re separating more now,” he said. “People are becoming educated slowly.”

Hemp has thousands of practical uses, Bott added. The rapidly growing plant can be used in beauty products, building materials to replace wood or plastic and as a biodiesel fuel. If public opinion continues to evolve, it could easily become an invaluable resource, he said.

“It’s going to have to become prominent, or the planet will have a big problem,” he said. “I’m not a big environmentalist, I don’t smoke it, but I believe in this product, because it’s an answer to a lot of problems.”