Milwaukee native opens CBD dispensary aimed at helping veterans, inner-city residents

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee native has opened a CBD dispensary aimed at helping veterans and those who live in the inner city. Elev8 Milwaukee opened Saturday, Dec. 15, and joins a growing list of CBD dispensaries in the area.

"A lot of foot traffic. A lot of people in the neighborhood just curious what's going on," said Anthony Olivera, owner of Elev8 Milwaukee, located near 33rd and National.

Olivera offers CBD products at his shop.

Anthony Olivera

"Anybody can sell CBD, and you can order CBD off the internet wholesale. I'm actually looking for the best product," said Olivera.

Products include oils, soda, lemonade and lotions, all with CBD, a substance extracted from hemp with no "high."

"We actually do investigation on our products and make sure we hold the best product -- the best gummy, the best soda, the best lemonade of its class here," said Olivera.

Olivera opened the store with a goal of deterring crime and drug use in the neighborhood.

"Lot of prostitution, drug dealing. It's all around here. It's infested all around this neighborhood," said Olivera.

Hemp World Cafe

His shop is similar to Hemp World Cafe at Humboldt and North in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood, which opened on Dec. 7. The cafe offers CBD-infused food, drinks and hookah.

CBD became legal in Wisconsin in 2018, but one expert said the risk lies in the lack of regulation.

Cecilia Hillard

"We don't have a lot of experience with people taking these drugs for many, many years, and you never know if there could be chronic effects that could pop up," said Cecilia Hillard with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"Everybody talks about helping, but nobody is helping. That's how I feel," said Olivera.

Olivera's shop is down the road from the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, and Olivera said he hopes his products can help veterans suffering from PTSD. Currently, all of the products are flown in from California, but starting Monday, Dec. 17, he said he'll begin offering products made locally.