New Frontiers for Retail

CBD American Shaman operates more than 40 retail locations. Photo courtesy of Shaman Botanicals

Cannabis in Kansas City, Kansas? Sure, if it’s CBD.

CBD is creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter the cannabis space in states where marijuana isn’t legal.

Vince Sanders of Kansas City is one of them. He started making homemade hemp extracts from hemp growing wild in Kansas ditches in 2012 to help an uncle dying of lung cancer.

Three years later, Sanders started a CBD business using isolate imported from Europe.

Today, his chain of CBD retail franchises, CBD American Shaman, has more than 40 locations in six states. The shops are all in states without legal medical marijuana, such as Georgia, Missouri and Texas.

CBD American Shaman stores carry roughly 120 stock-keeping units (SKUs) of their own CBD products, from tinctures and topicals to gummies and vaporizers, all manufactured in Kansas using imported European isolate. The company’s success helped inspire Kansas lawmakers to overwhelmingly approve hemp production in 2018.

Sanders said that CBD retailing requires a different approach than marijuana retailing.

“It’s like a liquor store compared to a pharmacy in some ways,” Sanders said. “One is much more about psychoactivity, and the other is purely medical-driven.”

And unlike marijuana retailing, where zoning restrictions dictate location selection, CBD retailers can use the same market analysis employed by traditional retailers to find the best locations.

“As long as the income level isn’t too low in a market, this thrives anywhere,” Sanders said.

– Kristen Nichols