The owners of downtown Stoughton’s CBD store said a lot of people in their lives are suffering.
“I get chronic migraines, our business partner had testicular cancer, my husband’s sister has breast cancer, my husband has blood cancer,” said Midwest Best CBD co-owner Joree Ketelsen.
CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, started as a passion project for Joree, her husband Stephen Ketelsen and their business partner Bryan Heins. Joree said there are so many illnesses that everyone is plagued with and they wanted to do something to help.
In April, they opened up Midwest Best CBD at 183 W. Main St., though they have been selling the Midwest Best brand of CBD oil online for more than a year.
The CBD oil is known for health benefits, particularly to ease severe epileptic seizures, according to the Food and Drug Administration. CBD is derived from the hemp plant, the same plant used to make hemp textiles and hemp seeds, according to Midwest Best’s website. Most CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp rather than the marijuana strains.
In Wisconsin, CBD oil must have less than .3 percent of THC, a main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, a negligible amount that will not have any psychoactive effects.
“At this point in my life I don’t want to get (high),” Joree said. “But I know that there are benefits to the marjuiana plant so it’s nice that we get the benefit without feeling out of control.”
Inside the store, customers can buy from a selection that includes topicals, oils, CBD coffee, edibles, capsules and flower forms. Joree, a 2005 Stoughton High School graduate, said they weren’t sure how the community was going to respond to their store but the results have been positive.
“The community has been really accepting, which we appreciate,” said Joree. “They come in and realize that we are not a smoke shop, we are just here to help.”
Joree personally uses CBD to reduce her anxiety and migraines. She said she’s been taking anxiety medication since she was a preteen and after using CBD she no longer has to. Stephen said they use the topical salve on their children when their muscles are sore from playing sports.
“Everyone is different,” Stephen said. “There are some people that this doesn’t work for, but for us it’s been great.”
Joree and Stephen have three acres of hemp they grow in Southern Wisconsin. Once the hemp is harvested they work with a Madison doctor on creating a CBD formula to have what they consider a quality product.
Because there is so little regulation on who can make CBD, Joree and Stephen wanted to create a good tasting quality product.
“There are people making (stuff) in their basement and calling it CBD,” said Stephen. “It’s like the wild west out there and it’s unfortunate because it’s a great product.”
While the legal status of selling it still has some ambiguity, former state Attorney General Brad Schmiel advised in a May 2018 memo against law enforcement taking enforcement action against products made from industrial hemp, including CBD. Gov. Tony Evers proposed making medical marijuana legal in his first budget earlier this year, but Republican legislators have come out against the proposal and control both houses of the legislature.
In the future, they hope to have educational seminars on CBD and the benefits. Soon they will offer a private seminar to service members, including police and firefighters, to help understand the difference between CBD and marijuana.
If customers have questions, the Ketelsens encourage people to come to the store. They spend anywhere from 10 minutes to more than one hour with customers, talking about CBD, lifestyles, symptoms and how they believe CBD can help.
“Usually people hear about CBD from a friend or relative, and they have a lot of questions,” said Stephen.