Store that specializes in selling legal cannabis products opening in Lawrence
photo by: Nick Krug
Here is the alphabet soup of marijuana. (Apologies Lawrence grocers. I’ve inadvertently created a stampede in the soup aisle.) Marijuana has a chemical compound called THC, which produces a high. In Kansas, selling a product with THC results in OTJ — off to jail. Kansas has some of the strictest laws in the country regarding THC products.
But the cannabis plant also produces another chemical compound called CBD. It does not produce a high, but many people swear it helps relieve inflammation, pain, stress and other ailments. That chemical compound is legal, and Lawrence residents soon will get to find out for themselves whether it works. A store that specializes in CBD — more commonly called hemp oil — is opening at 19th and Massachusetts streets.
CBD American Shaman Lawrence is set to open today at 1901 Massachusetts Street, next door to the popular Alchemy coffee shop. Co-owner Trevor Burdett said the store will sell creams, liquids and other edibles that have the CBD oils in them. What the store won’t be selling is anything that will get you high. Burdett said the CBD products are completely free of THC. That’s an important disclaimer because products with THC are illegal in Kansas and also run afoul of federal law. The American Shaman company previously was selling products that had a trace amount of THC, but after a store in Mission got busted for selling them, the company changed its production processes to remove all THC. Thus far, that seems to have satisfied Kansas regulators, and the feds also have not stepped into the fray. Burdett said the new business will make it clear that marijuana is not the store’s business.
photo by: Nick Krug
“That is not our market,” Burdett said. “We’re not looking for people to come in and get high. If they just want the euphoric aspects of getting high, that is fine. They can go smoke somewhere else.”
Burdett and his business partner, Corey Landreth, though, know they will have to do some explaining to people who may mistake hemp and marijuana. “We understand there is a market in Lawrence that we will have to talk to and tell them that they aren’t going to eat some medical gummies and get loopy.”
Lawrence, however, may be better educated than most communities on the subject. There is the guy with his pro-hemp signs frequently in downtown Lawrence. (No word yet on whether we have to honk every time we go by the store at 19th and Massachusetts.) Burdett said the company looked at both Lawrence and Manhattan for the store and settled on Lawrence, in part, because it is a town open to alternative medicine.
At this point, I should remind you that hemp oil does fall into the realm of alternative medicine. The products are not FDA approved. You should think of them more like a supplement. Everybody will have to make their own decisions about the safety and effectiveness of the products. While stressing that more research needs to be done, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has noted CBD’s potential to be a nonaddictive treatment option for certain types of conditions, although the article notes it doesn’t seem to work for everybody.
photo by: Nick Krug
Regardless of its status in the medical world, there is no denying CBD products are catching on with many people.
CBD American Shaman, which is based in Kansas City, has about 70 products. They include water-soluble hemp oil that you can drink, hydrating body lotions, hemp oil capsules, face creams, lip balms and even hemp candy. (You know your grandpa is from the 1970s when he pulls out hemp candy from his pocket instead of a Werther’s Originals.)
The store also has hemp-based products for pets. There are canine, feline and equine hemp oils for sale. Burdett said he knows of some weight lifters or people who suffer from extremely high levels of pain who take the stronger equine formula.
People who are wanting to control pain are expected to be a big market for the store. There is an American Shaman store that has opened in Topeka, and Burdett said it serves a lot of people with severe arthritis, fibromyalgia or other conditions that produce chronic pain.
Burdett said he spent some time at the Topeka store, and some of what he saw convinced him to open his own store.
“We had people come in the store that didn’t know where they were at, couldn’t tell you who their family was because they were in so much pain,” Burdett said. “They would take a water soluble, and to see them come around in 10 or 15 minutes was amazing.”
Besides pain relief, Burdett said there are some other frequent users of the products. Some believe CBD is effective in controlling seizures, which causes some people who have epilepsy to use the products. Some athletes also use the products with the idea that they help reduce inflammation and pain that come from particularly hard workouts. A particularly large market in a college town may be students who are looking for the purported stress-relieving benefits of CBD products.
As for how much all of this relief will cost, Burdett said many of the products are in the $40 to $70 range, but often last for multiple weeks.
Burdett believes the store will do plenty of business once folks catch on to what it is selling.
“Everybody hears about the medical benefits of marijuana,” Burdett said. “We have a form now that is 100 percent legal that people can take on an everyday basis.”