The Southern University and A&M College, the largest historically black university in Louisiana, serving African-American students since the 1800s – well before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed in the U.S., has launched its own hemp-derived CBD product line: ALAFIA.
According to information procured exclusively, the brand is the result of a partnership between the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Baton Rouge and Ilera Holistic Healthcare. The lab tested and pesticide-free products will be available for over-the-counter purchase across the U.S. soon, the makers say, in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill. So far, however, the line is only available at select locations across Louisiana — where sales commenced today, and features two products: Isolate CBD and Full Spectrum CBD. Additional CBD products will be released soon, a company spokesperson added.
Ilera Holistic Healthcare’s chairman, Osagie Imasogie, explained the name ALAFIA (not to be confused with Canadian company Aleafia Health) comes from a Yoruba language word that means “inner peace.” It was with this in mind that the product line was formulated, he added.
“Our team of experts created a superior hemp derived product with patients in mind. We are proud of this partnership with Southern [University] and pleased to know our product will be available to the people of Louisiana and beyond,” he voiced.
Chanda Macias, PhD., CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare and Women Grow, highlighted the “inner peace” component of the brand too. “Ou goals with this line is to support all communities by creating access to wellness products at affordable price points,” she said. “No one should endure the stress of trying to balance a healthy lifestyle at high costs; that within itself is unhealthy.”
Adding to these comments, Southern University’s president, Ray L. Belton, said the partnership with Ilera has “proven successful from the start,” expressing appreciation for Dr. Macias, her team, and the leadership from the university’s Dr. McMeans and Dr. Snowden. “This is an exciting time for healthcare and business here in the state of Louisiana, and Southern is honored to be a part of it all.”
For Macias, this launch is especially significant due to the timing, right before we embark on the first Black History Month of this new decade.
“We are witnessing history,” she commented. “Southern University partnered with us to bring this product line to market, making them the first Historically Black College University (HBCU) to launch a CBD line… When you think of the rich history Southern University holds here in Louisiana, this launch only mirrors the monumental impacts this higher education institution has made in this country. As an alum of an HBCU, Howard University, I am truly humbled and proud to be a part of this historic moment.”
(Originally Published in Forbes)