Women June 06, 2021 at 12:00 pm

How her dad’s illness inspired her to open Austin’s first Black female-owned cannabis business

Abu Mubarik June 06, 2021 at 12:00 pm

June 06, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Women

Dr. Kirsten Shepard. Photo: TrueStopper

Dr. Kirsten Shepard is a licensed chiropractor and massage therapist. She is the founder of TrueStopper, one of Austin’s first female Black-owned cannabis businesses. Affectionately called Dr. K, the African-American’s regenerative hemp-based products are “triple-tested by ISO-certified labs.”

What is remarkable about her products is that, all her offerings such as oils, broad-spectrum CBN and CBG tinctures, bath bombs, salves, roll-ons, calming and focus tablets, gummies, and dog chews, have been certified, not toxic, and contain 0-0.3% THC, according to The Austin Chronicle.

“TrueStopper is one of only 4% of cannabis businesses that is African American-owned. A green wave is on the horizon, but it’s time to change the narrative so that women and BIPOC founders aren’t left behind,” Dr. K told The Austin Chronicle. “And while the CBD industry is experiencing exponential growth right now, it’s not without its challenges. In addition to diversity gains, we must be advocating for more clear regulations to ensure the opaque CBD market is not tarnished by vendors who overlook high quality and purity as a product standard.”

Dr. K has more than 10 years of experience in integrated health practices that combine medical, chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy approaches to whole body care, including the opening of clinics across Texas and in Los Angeles.

Dr. K ventured into the cannabis business when her dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma and she saw at first hand the effect of chemotherapy and radiation. She started researching options that would help relieve his dad of the excruciating pains he was going through and improve his quality of life.

Through her research, she created CBD oils and ointments to help ease her father’s pain. Unfortunately, her dad passed away but Dr. K decided to continue with her products to help others who are going through the experience of his dad.

This led her to establish TrueStopper, which is regarded as Austin’s first female, Black-owned cannabis company. The firm is a hemp-based holistic business formulated to support patients with chronic pains and it is surgery-free.

“We’ve added some gummies. We have different types of CBD in addition to CBN and CBG,” said Dr. K. “There are pain patches, there’s dog chews, and so we really expanded our line.”

Dr. K credits her late father for her business success. According to her, if not for her dad, she would not have thought of producing a product line. 

“He was my first test subject and after he experienced relief with the first cream, he suggested I consider developing it to help more people who were suffering,” she told Thrive Global. “At the time, product development was the last thing on my radar and I really wasn’t interested. He encouraged me and said I was on to discovering something that could benefit the entire world.”

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