When she saw her sister taking hemp extract to treat chemotherapy side effects, a light bulb went off in Miriam Novalle's head. Hemp extract provides medicinal benefits such as relief from inflammation, pain, and anxiety, without the psychoactive effects of herbal remedies like medical marijuana. (Hemp is currently being studied as a potential treatment for arthritis, diabetes, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, and epilepsy, among other ailments.) As an entrepreneur with a background in blended teas and perfume, Novalle was well-positioned to take advantage of what she saw as the impending hemp extract boom. "This is the green rush," she says.
Since 1992, Novalle has run T Salon, an organic, and sustainable tea company with 650 gourmet blends, and she saw the opening for a line of hemp-extract teas. "I took 14 of my Wellness teas and blended them with organic, full-spectrum hemp extract." The result is the cleverly named High Tea company, which makes bottled cold-brew teas and tea bags, which are blended, packed, and shipped out of Kingston. Novalle's herbal and caffeinated varieties like Queen of Earl, Healing Heaven, Before and After Yoga, and Detox are available at several Woodstock retailers and online. Novalle is also working on a line of hemp extract cookies, chocolates, ice cream, and bath salts. "Hemp extract is what fish oil was, or what Vitamin C was in the '70s," Novalle says. "You're looking at the beginning of something so big and extraordinary, it's going to be life-changing."