CBD Botanicals has opened at 2536 S. Koke Mill Road in Springfield. Owner Jim Weddigen said the 15 years he spent as a pharmaceutical representative gave him a unique perspective on the health care industry.
“I saw it from both sides. The doctors are frustrated with the insurance companies and trying to do their day-to-day job, with all the system restraints. Then you see the patients who are waiting for the doctors and frustrated trying to get an appointment with a specialist or deal with their insurance company,” he explained.
Weddigen started hearing about CBD products and said a local physician, Dr. Robert Kaufman, encouraged him to learn more about the growing industry. “He talked to me about it and I started really digging in. I kept getting convinced by everything I looked into,” Weddigen said.
After being laid off last fall from the pharmaceutical company he was working for, Weddigen decided to pursue starting his own business. He said Kaufman is the medical director for the company where he now gets most of his products, and he was excited to find an available space for lease with great visibility and traffic.
CBD Botanicals opened for business on Jan. 18, and Weddigen said he’s using his experience as a drug rep working with doctors to now take the same approach with customers.
“You can sample it, try it and experience it in my shop. I sit down with people and listen to their aches and pains. We’re not just about getting a bottle in someone’s hands; I tell people, ‘Let’s have a conversation and see if this is something that might work for you,’” said Weddigen.
“I’m a patient, too,” explained Weddigen. I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum and I’ve spent the last 15 years trying to make it easier for people to get the medicine that helps them. I’m just translating that to my shop and now I get to do that in a local way. I’m 100 percent personally vested in this.”
For now, Weddigen is running the store himself without any staff. A website to allow online sales is in the works, and he said his son has been helping him establish an online presence with social media.
“I’m excited to be here. We’re just in the beginning stages of CBD. This isn’t a fad; this is going to be around for a while.”