Owners/operators and their background: Benny Bendewald is an owner of the CBD American Shaman franchise in Norfolk. Bendewald said he has been in agriculture throughout most of this life, ran a custom harvest operation with his wife for 50 years and has been in the organic business for the past four years.
Business overview: CBD American Shaman has a “full line of CBD-infused products,” Bendewald said.
Among those products are oils, face creams, lotions, tinctures for under the tongue, water solubles, gummies, popcorn, bath bombs, vape products, brownies and candy. The store also sells CBD-infused animal care products.
When did the business open? July 2019
Why did you decide to open this business? Bendewald said his interest in American Shaman products arose as his wife’s German shepherd was suffering severe effects of Lyme disease.
“I was up in South Dakota, from where I’m originally from, harvesting soybeans and my wife was at home, having basically to carry the dog around to get her from location to location,” Bendewald said. “She called me one night and said, ‘I’ve got to put her down. I can’t see her suffer anymore.’ ”
Bendewald, who had been looking at the American Shaman website, ordered some of the pet care products in hopes that it would help the dog feel better. Bendewald said within a couple of hours of being given the product, the dog began walking on its own again.
While the dog has since died, Bendewald said he was glad to see the products allowed her remaining time on earth to be pain free, and he credits the American Shaman products for that.
After seeing how American Shaman products helped improve the dog, Bendewald said he decided to try the human products from American Shaman in hopes that it would help relieve pain from arthritis, as well as anxiety and other ailments.
Bendewald said the products worked so well for him he calls himself a walking testimonial, and he has never felt better.
“When you look at something that’s helping yourself, and it’s doing something you never, ever thought would be done to yourself that would make you feel that much better, what is wrong with going and trying to help other people feel the same way?” he said.
Since they are CBD-infused and are made from hemp products, is there any worry about a positive read on random drug tests? “Absolutely not,” Bendewald said, adding he has had three drug tests since he began taking the products because he drives a truck, and all of the tests have come back negative.
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon until 6 p.m. Sundays
Number of employees: Three employees are available to help customers at CBD American Shaman in Norfolk: Haley Wieting, Katie Timm and Veronica Peck.
What makes your business unique? Bendewald said he believes the use of nanotechnology in making the CBD American Shaman products is what makes the products the business has to offer unique.
What has been the most exciting thing to happen since you opened? “I think the most exciting thing has been watching people come in, try a sample of the products, stand here and then all of a sudden go, ‘Wow. That really works.’ Or the people that come back later in the day — that’s the part that makes me feel good about what I’m doing,” he said.
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