Northern Wilds Magazine
Steve Sherman harvesting hemp, legal cannabis. Sherman is the founder of Good Harbor Wellness, based out of Grand Marais. | SUBMITTED
Along the Shore

CBD on the North Shore

The Superior Cannabis Company’s storefront in Duluth is not your typical smoke shop. In fact, it’s not much of a smoke shop at all.

Superior Cannabis Company’s Canal Park location has an atmosphere more like that of a coffee shop or craft brewery than a place to purchase cannabis. The staff are welcoming and passionate about the products that they sell, and for a business that is all about breaking the stigma associated with cannabis, they do a fantastic job curating a pleasant, comfortable experience for their customers.

Superior Cannabis Company specializes in “hemp flower and premium CBD products” as well as a “great selection of clothing, pipes and accessories.”

In addition to running two store fronts—one in Duluth and one in Austin, Minn.—that offer both SCC and non-SCC CBD products, the Superior Cannabis Company sources its USDA certified organic hemp locally from “licensed family-owned farms” that grow and produce hemp in southern Minnesota.

But really, what is CBD?

CBD—or cannabidiol—is one of many chemical compounds found in cannabis. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce the “high” most commonly associated with cannabis use.

To date, there are well over 100 different types of cannabinoids that have been identified in addition to CBD and THC, and depending on the method of extraction from the original plant, different cannabis-based products will have varying amounts of each cannabinoid.

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, it became legal for Minnesotans aged 18 and older to buy CBD oil products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC without a prescription. This sparked a surge in CBD products and sales in Minnesota, as well as hemp cultivation, and since then it has become more and more common to find CBD products in storefronts up and down the North Shore.

One such local business that sprung up in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill was Good Harbor Wellness, a brand that currently provides local, legal cannabis-based products to the Cook County community.

Good Harbor Wellness was founded by Cook County resident Steve Sherman and is based out of Grand Marais. As of the time that this article was written, their products can be found at the Gunflint Tavern, Cook County Whole Foods Co-op, Buck’s Hardware, and all the way up the Gunflint Trail at Trail Center Lodge.

Sherman has been involved with the cannabis industry from the beginning, having spent time working for large corporations and small “mom and pop” shops all around the country. He started Good Harbor Wellness out of a passion for cannabis and, more broadly, out of a passion for wellness and healthy living.

“I formulate all of my Good Harbor Wellness products to be as simple and as natural as possible,” says Sherman. “All of my tinctures, for example, are just cannabinoids, coconut oil and natural flavor, because it’s important to me that when you look at the label on any [Good Harbor Wellness] product, you understand everything that is in there.”

“Good Harbor Wellness’ focus goes beyond cannabis,” continues Sherman, “it’s wellness and wellness is not just a supplement—wellness is the style of gardening that you do, the way that you interact with the community, the food that you eat, maintaining your microbiome and gut, and so much more.”

According to Sherman, there are three different methods of extracting CBD from hemp.

“First, there is isolate,” says Sherman, “where CBD is stripped from all of the other cannabinoids and added to products. Then there is broad spectrum, where the integrity of all of the different cannabinoids is maintained during extraction except for THC, and then finally there is full spectrum which maintains a little bit of THC but at a level that is below the 0.3 percent legal limit.”

“I am a believer in full spectrum,” continues Sherman, “because I have found from my own experience, as well as the feedback that I receive from customers, that cannabinoids work best when they are working together.”

For Sherman, Good Harbor Wellness is all about helping people and—especially when it comes to his line of CBD products—he relies heavily on feedback from the community to find out what works and what doesn’t.

“It’s a bummer, but because of how new [CBD] is and how it has only recently become legal to research,” says Sherman, “there really aren’t that many clinical trials out there on the effects of CBD.”

“So,” continues Sherman, “I have had to work hard to find anecdotal evidence for what products work for people and what products don’t, and adjust the products that I chose to carry accordingly. It’s an experience that has made me thankful for the small, supportive community that I am fortunate to call home.”

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