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Former NFL players look to score with hemp-derived CBD products

PLAINS TWP. — The hemp business is growing and Nate Eachus is growing hemp.

The former fullback for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs who played high school ball at Hazleton Area was in town to promote the benefits of the products derived from hemp as an alternative to prescription medications and medical marijuana.

“I’m in the hemp business now, basically partnered with a farm in Colorado and we supply the main ingredient,” Eachus, 27, said Tuesday.

His Hemp Health Associates company in Florida works with the farm that supplies hemp oil containing cannabidiol for more than 200 customers. It’s looking for more acreage to produce the hemp-derived CBD used in the tincture, lotion, capsules and gummy bear candies made by Hemp Health Labs of Jenkintown that Eachus displayed to the media during an informal meet-and-greet at Danko’s All American Fitness in Plains Township.

His formal presentation will be Thursday night during a Pennsylvania Community Medical Cannabis Forum at the Holiday Inn East Mountain in Plains Township.

The products he was touting contain more CBD — high in therapeutic qualities — than the high-producing tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana to keep it legal and available for over-the-counter sales, Eachus explained. Hemp Health Labs listed prices of $50 each for 1,000 mg bottles of tincture, $45 each for 750 mg gel caps and 500 mg topical lotion and $20 for a 250 mg, pack of 10 gummy bears.

“It’s about getting people not high, but healthy,” Eachus said.

None of the products come with U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval and Eachus offered only anecdotal support for their health benefits. Doctors in Florida where he lives who can’t recommend medical marijuana for people because they don’t have a qualifying serious illness are telling them to use CBD-based products, Eachus said.

In Pennsylvania, doctors have to be certified to recommend medical marijuana grown and processed in licensed facilities. Their products will be available next year through licensed dispensaries to people who have one of 17 serious medical conditions, including autism, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease and HIV/AIDS.

Another former NFL player from the area, Ron Solt, gave his endorsement to what Eachus was promoting. “All I know is this stuff works for me so I stay with this,” Solt, 55, said.

The Coughlin High graduate and former offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts said he is a distributor for the products.

Hemp oil products provide health benefits, proponents say, but none of the over-the-counter lotions or oils have been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Former NFL players Nate Eachus, left, and Ron Solt touted what they said were the health benefits of products containing hemp oil Tuesday at Danko’s All American Fitness in Plains Township. They will appear at a medical cannabis program Thursday night in the area.

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