After spending more than 15 years searching for resources for cannabis education in Texas, Marlies Ledbetter decided to open her own consulting agency to provide a way for the people in The Woodlands area to learn how to use cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance she said is misunderstood.
“There’s a huge stigma across the country with the misunderstanding between hemp and marijuana and the usage of those for medicinal purposes,” Ledbetter said. “I wanted people to be able to come to me and not only understand the best ways to utilize CBD but also what it actually does. I felt walking into a store and buying a bottle of CBD oil was not good enough for me.”
Personal passion and experience
Ledbetter said when she was in college she had a severe reaction to the medication she was on at the time. After that incident she began conducting research into ways to deal with the symptoms caused by medical conditions she had since birth.
“I had been very familiar with medical cannabis and started looking at hemp as an alternative,” Ledbetter said. “They hadn’t actually come up with hemp extracts yet, but I knew the cannabinoid profile is the same.”
The difference between hemp and marijuana, she said, is hemp is naturally high in CBD while marijuana contains a high amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is a psychoactive component.
After living in Viriginia and using CBD products, Ledbetter moved back to Texas, which had strict laws against CBD at the time. She said she went back to prescribed medication, which eventually led to a seizure and traumatic brain injury in 2014.
“At that point I had been using hemp [products] for a while and knew it had been working for me,” she said. “I knew there had to be more to this.”
Rather than a retail storefront, Indie Hemp Co. is a consultation service to help clients find products they could benefit from.
“When people come in, they have to make an appointment. It’s a one-on-one consultation, kind of like a therapy session,” Ledbetter said. “They sit down with me, and we talk about why they are there and what they’re going through. To me, that creates a more successful opportunity for the usage of hemp products.”
Sessions tend to run between 30 minutes and an hour, during which time Ledbetter said she tries to make the client feel at ease and comfortable.
With the rise of CBD products in the market, Ledbetter said the number of clients she sees has nearly quadrupled since the business’s inception. Along with discovering what a client needs, Ledbetter offers advice about which products are safe to purchase.
“[There are] unregulated products on the market,” she said. “You could buy a product that has arsenic, mercury or salmonella in it, or you could buy a product from Amazon that has no CBD in it even though it says it does on the bottle, and that scares me.”
Clients are able to book an appointment with Indie Hemp Co. through the business’ website or social media pages.
While currently located within Cubic Cowork on Rayford Park Road, Ledbetter said she has plans to expand the business later this year.
Indie Hemp Co.
1310 Rayford Park Road, Spring
Hours: Tue. noon-6 p.m.,
Wed.-Thu. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.,
Sat. noon-5 p.m.