After Battling Lyme Disease, Entrepreneur Launches Business

By Jenn Hall St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) When Kathleen Wade was battling Lyme disease, someone introduced her to Cannabidol (CBD). That discovery which helped her medically, ultimately led to her creating a company which produces a variety of products using CBD.

St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

A historic bank in Downtown St. Joseph is seeing its first commerce in decades.

CBD American Shaman recently opened a store in the Missouri Valley Trust Company building at Fourth and Felix streets.

Kathleen Wade founded CBD American Shaman after she and her husband were diagnosed with Lyme disease.

"We had it for almost 10 years," she said. "When all the treatment was done, I was getting out of bed, maybe, two days a week. So it was not a quality life."

Someone introduced her to Cannabidol (CBD). She said the product had a horrible flavor but it worked. So she went looking for a better product and found American Shaman.

The Kansas City-based company produces a variety of products using CBD, made from the industrial hemp plant.

All CDB companies started out using tinctures that were used by placing them under the tongue. But users only got about 10 percent of the impact from 1,000 milligrams of the product.

Wade said American Shaman's claim to fame was a patent of breaking down the CBD molecule. Today, there are water-soluble products that can be used in everything from water to whiskey and can even be put in food. There is also a cloud option.

There are external uses and products for pets, too, from equine ointments for muscle pain to topical serums for nerve pain. For animals, there also are dog bones and ointments for dry skin.

Wade and her husband, Rick Almack, own several retail stores throughout the Midwest that carry the product line.

Because the space is so large, there is more room for Wade to offer other products.

"We try to always carry local products in each of our locations," she said. "So each of our stores are a little bit different."

Wade has stores in Leavenworth, Kansas, Carthage, Missouri, and two in Springfield, Missouri. There are stores in the works for Branson, Missouri, after Christmas and a second location on the Belt Highway in St. Joseph.

Like her other stores, CBD American Shaman in St. Joseph carries an assortment of products from local entrepreneurs.

Monastery soaps made by the Benedictine Sisters in Clyde, Missouri, hand-poured candles from 5B&Co in Leavenworth, Kansas, and honey-based deodorant and coffee sugar scrubs.

Wade said the Benedictine Sisters make specific soaps for her stores only. And the candlemaker's trademark is to create a scent for each city Wade has a store in. For St. Joseph, she developed a soft leather scent and calls it Jesse James. The artisan also has room sprays and sugar scrubs.

Wade also uses the space to showcase her own talents.

"I've done essential oils for a long time," she said. "So I took the blends that I've come up with over the years for friends and family and introduced them into the stores. I figured I'll throw them out to the public and if they like them, we'll keep making them. They've been quite popular."

While the East and West coasts do custom essential oil blends, Wade said it's an uncommon practice in the Midwest.

But she does custom blends in her store.

"So we're kind of unique in the area," she said.

Wade makes bath bombs, too. There are simple bath bombs and ones that include CDB using the water soluble equine line.

The abundance of products fills up the lobby of the old bank building. Many of the products adorn hand-crafted tables that are a part of the original fixtures.

The former bank was once at the heart of Joseph Robidoux's original plans for the the city and a large part of his designated Market Square. According to state documents, the structure is the oldest building west of the Mississippi.

While the front is intriguing, the space behind the counter is nearly intact from the days of bank operations.

Wade plans to have art showings in the back space as well as renting out the area for events. She said Christmas parties already are being booked.

The new store in Downtown is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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