CBD business taking off beyond expectations

Published: May. 30, 2019 at 9:23 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

From flavored oils to pain creams, a small CBD shop in Topeka has a variety of options.

The store's owner says customers can buy candy bars, coffee or even pet treats, all including CBD, a cannabinoid made from industrial hemp. It's legal under the National Farm Bill and under Kansas law.

Trevor Burdett is the man behind stores like the one in Topeka. He's the founder of Sacred Leaf, which allows individuals to run their own stores under his name.

The CBD stores have taken off in Kansas and elsewhere. Burdett says they've added 25 stores this year alone, bringing the total to 45 confirmed locations.

Burdett says a 500 square-foot warehouse more than tripled in size to 1,800 square feet. Three months later, there was an even bigger jump as a 6,000 square-foot warehouse is now used, solely for CBD products his shops sell.

Business growth like this isn't normal. One of Burdetts stores in Houston opened in February, making more than $120,000 in sales by April. The first store in Houston started out making a little less than $23,000 per month. In less than a year, that number jumped to six figures, he says.

Forbes estimates the CBD industry will surpass $20 billion in just five years. It's something Burdett says he didn't expect, but he's definitely not fighting it.

CBD can be controversial because many equate it to marijuana and THC. Though by Kansas law, CBD shouldn't have any THC, Burdett says they still have roadblocks. He says they can't promote anything on social media because sites like Facebook and Instagram shut them down, thinking they're selling drugs.

Leasing space is also a challenge, as is banking. Burdett says PayPal froze his assets and his current credit card company shut him down and seized $75,000. He says he knows he's legal, but it's a headache to educate those with preconceived notions while trying to run a business.