A company from Kansas City, Missouri, specializing in CBD oil, the new wonder cure for everything that ails you, has big plans for Texas.
The company is CBD American Shaman, which is opening stores at a fast clip across the state. There are currently five stores in North Texas — in Carrollton, Hurst, Denton, and Fort Worth — with more on the way in Plano, McKinney, and Allen. There's a store open in San Antonio, and more stores planned for Austin and Houston.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD oil is a compound found in cannabis plants, aka marijuana. It's made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then combining it with an oil such as coconut or hemp oil to make it easy to consume. It's low in THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets you high, but fans are using it to treat everything from insomnia to pain management to calming their pets.
Most of the fervor has been anecdotal, with few clinical studies on its efficacy. But in June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved CBD as a treatment for two forms of epilepsy — making it the first marijuana-derived product to be approved at the federal level.
CBD American Shaman joins stores such as Rawsome, based in Fort Worth, as well as hundreds of individuals who are selling it out of their homes as distributors.
CBD American Shaman, which describes its mission as "bringing wellness to the world through ultra-concentrated terpene-rich hemp oil derived from all natural, high quality industrial hemp," would be a bigger, more cohesive player.
CEO Vince Sanders says that demand is so high, the company hopes to open 30 stores within the next 90 days — a move made easier by Texas' recent decision to not interfere, for the moment, with sale of CBD oil products.
His storefronts are generally small: 600 to 800 square feet is plenty of room, since most of the products — oils, serums, capsules, gummies, vaporizers, lotions, shampoos — are not large.
Sanders founded the company in 2012 to help a relative diagnosed with lung cancer seek alternative therapies.
Most of the big CBD oil companies are in California or Colorado, where marijuana is legal, but CBD American Shaman has been a trailblazer in the Midwest.
As one of the early players, Sanders has fought an uphill battle, legally and scientifically, to ensure the product's availability.
"We've been a company for nearly five years, so that makes us one of the grandfathers in the industry," he says. "There's starting to be a real frenzy about it, but we spent a few years educating people on how and why it works."
Now they're fielding thousands of inquiries every day.
"This is an all-natural thing and I think people are sick of big pharma," he says. "It grew so quickly that there was a period of time where we had to stop taking new orders, invest in new equipment and reboot. Truly, the way this has grown has been by divine guidance."