Meet Dr. Kristen Shepard, Founder Of Austin's First Black-Owned Canna-Business
Photo Credit: Dr. Kristen Shepard / TrueStopper

Meet Dr. Kristen Shepard, Founder Of Austin's First Black-Owned Canna-Business

Any Black-owned canna-business is newsworthy for what are, perhaps, obvious reasons. But Dr. Kristen Shepard’s canna-business is both historic and inspirational.

The Austin Chronicle shared how “Dr. K” — as the chiropractor and licensed massage therapist is known to her patients — founded her TrueStopper medical marijuana brand. She said she was inspired to create the line after her father was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

“I was searching for whatever, whoever, anything that would help with his nausea, lack of appetite, and the pain that it caused,” she said. “I knew about cannabis – I spent three years in L.A. before coming back to Austin in 2008 – but I was very naive about it. I thought everybody was like Snoop Dogg – they just wanted a legal way to smoke, you know? I didn’t think about compassionate use until I needed to think about it.”

As a Black-owned canna-business — and as a Black woman-owned canna-business — Dr. K’s TrueStopper is about more than just “pot.” Rather, she focuses on therapeutic care, and specifically, care that centers on the skin.

Dr. K said that she will also soon launch a line of CBD-infused edible products in cooperation with GoodenSweet, another Black-owned canna-business.

Dr. K also says that the majority of her clientele are seniors and combat veterans, who use her products as part of a pain-management protocol. She said that the reason she wanted to focus on wellness was that she felt the American health system isn’t conducive to maintaining health.

“When you turn on the TV in the United States, what do you see? You see pharmaceutical sales ads, you see ads for fast food and liquor. We’re bombarded with those every day,” she said. “If you go to Europe, you’re not seeing that. You’re seeing lifestyle and travel, you’re seeing fashion, and I just think it speaks so loudly to what the focus is in this country. It’s sick care, it’s not health care, and I think that really needs to change.”