A Pioneer Market in Utah is Selling a Form of Medical Marijuana. The LDS Church, Famous For Its Pioneers, Took Away the Legalization of Medical Marijuana Beyond Restricted Means.

Brigham Young is the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who brought his pioneers across the plains on the present-day United States. They came to a land Young planned to be the State of Deseret. He wanted the land that is now Fillmore, Utah, to be the capital of the state. But there was a problem: the United States Congress did not recognize Young’s proposal, not willing to give a nod to the theocracy.

Instead, Congress created the Utah Territory. Fillmore would be its capital, Young determined at that point.

Today in the town stands the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum, which, in essence, promotes the church.

In its shadow is the town store. Of course, it is called Pioneer Market.

There, cannabidiol is being sold.

The church nullified legalization beyond retail sale through Proposition 2, an initiative to make medical marijuana legal that Utah voters approved.

Pioneer Market isn’t alone in being part of the medicinal counter-culture. An LDS woman in Fillmore sells out of her house, and she is among multiple vendors in Utah that store worker Jody Lawhorn personally knows.

One Pioneer Market customer felt better within 20 minutes, Lawhorn said.

“People are finding a way to help themselves,” she later said.

As for opposing the church at the epicenter of a place where a certain church president’s reign yet looms large?

“We’re just a store,” Lawhorn said. “I think that any market is trying to fill the needs of its community. We sell beer, too, and cigarettes, candy, Coke. I think that there’s a market for (CBD oil), and, personally, I feel better about selling that than some of the other things. I feel like that’s a helpful thing to people.”

“And, I don’t know. I think the church will come along,” Lawhorn then said. “I think that people are realizing that they want to take their health into their hands, and there’s risks with anything that you are taking. There’s a lot of risks with medicines that people are finding. I think people like the idea of being more natural and hopefully, the LDS church will get on board with that.”

Pioneer Market notifies customers that cannabinoid is available there. The market is in Fillmore, Utah, which is rich in history and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church opposes an initiative to legalize the substance beyond restricted means. (photo credit: Rhett Wilkinson)

Spike in customers from far away

Customers at Pioneer Market have increased 40 percent, store worker Silvia Flores said. That phenomenon happened over a medium of only the past three-and-a-half months, Lawhorn said Sunday, that the store was selling it.

The only marketing helping was word-of-mouth.

Customers have driven “across state lines,” let alone from a county (Beaver County) that isn’t Millard County, where Fillmore lies. If they were from Fillmore, Flores or Lawhorn would know who they are, Lawhorn said. One did so to get help for children suffering from seizures “or different things like that,” Lawhorn reported.

“More and more,” Flores said, “the customers are increasing. … People come straight to us for it.”

“There is a hangup about (CBD oil), and maybe a lack of education or lack of awareness,” Lawhorn said. “People not really understanding anything about it.”

Utahns and the church

Lawhorn understands that if the majority of Utahns were to oppose the church on the proposition, it would be historic.

“I think the population has shifted enough in Utah that there are enough people who could do that,” she said. “That’s the beautiful thing about a democracy; whatever the majority wants, that’s good.”

Utah is 62.8 LDS, according to church data, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Two years prior to that data for 2016, the share was 62.64 percent, marking the fourth consecutive year that the percentage increased, according to the Tribune.

Lawhorn also said that “it would be a nice thing for Utah to support its people who are struggling with whatever ways and not force people into illegal situations.”

“I think that that would be a better thing for our state and for the people in it, and hopefully, they’ll get there,” Lawhorn said.

Getting personal

Lawhorn has seven friends who have seen CBD oil help them with anxiety, pain, and depression — and it has made the difference compared to “traditional medications.” (“Mostly, what my friends have expressed is not having to take regular medication,” Lawhorn said. “They appreciated being able to get off normal medication and just take something that doesn’t seem to affect everything so much.”)

“That is nice and helpful and makes me feel good about the fact that we sell it,” she said. “I don’t use it for anything; I don’t really have a need for it, but I’m glad that we have it.”

CBD oil at Pioneer Market in Fillmore, Utah, gets a finger from store worker Jody Lawhorn. Fillmore is rich in history and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church opposes an initiative to legalize the substance. (photo credit: Rhett Wilkinson)

Lawhorn’s friend found that using a CBD cream also sold at the store gave them more relief than “any other type of rub or Ibuprofen and stuff,” Lawhorn said.

“They found they did not have the stomach problems,” Lawhorn said. “It’s affected them in more than just the pain.”

Lawhorn said that a friend recently told her that she felt that she had to “increase the same dosage to get the same amount of help with anxiety and depression.”

With CBD oil, “it’s actually like the reverse,” Lawhorn reported.

“She started off with a bigger dose and she is down to a smaller dose with CBD,” Lawhorn said.


Lawhorn called medical marijuana a “medicine.”

“Like any medicine, it shouldn’t be abused,” she said.

As someone shouldn’t “go crazy” on medicine, they should not do the same regarding CBD oil, Lawhorn said.

“Use common sense,” she remarked. “I feel like it would be a good thing for those people who need it. I would like them to have what they need available in our state.”

Lawhorn thinks that the word “marijuana,” rather than expressed as “cannabidiol” or “CBD,” has “probably” caused folks to consider its legalization an issue.

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Even if you no longer affiliate with the church but enjoy sociality with family and friends as before, you can still find social settings organized by the Utah Valley PostMormons. There, you can find your people. And of course, if you don’t enjoy those relationships like before, the many UVPM events that happen each week can be even life-saving.

Led by wonderful people like Kirsten Barksdale and Larissa Norman, UVPM is also for folks who just are struggling with it or are “never Mormons” seeking a break from the predominant culture. Find their events on Facebook and Meetup.

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