From the time she was a child, Kellie Roberge has always had an interest in caring for people and helping them lead better lives that are not hindered by chronic pain and suffering.
When she was growing up in Biddeford Pool, Kellie remembers that medical treatment was an undercurrent in her life. “My mom was a nurse at Southern Maine Medical Center for 40 years and retired as being charge nurse,” she said. “My love for the human body and caring for people stems from her.”
That love has taken Kellie from being a young child who helped cared for her grandfather at home to becoming a Nurse, nutritionist, a Chiropractor, a Naturopathic, a Reiki master and Acupuncturist along with being licensed in Cranial Sacral Therapy.
Her extensive education, training and life experiences have led her to co-found Tricann originally located in North Berwick, which offers its patients CBD, medical marijuana and special customized combination therapies/blends that include the use of herbs, supplements, terpenes, roots and minerals in conjunction with the wonderful healing properties that cannabis and hemp can offer.
Since opening Tricann, now located in neighboring Berwick, Kellie has specialized in not just providing patients with recommendations to ease their various illnesses and chronic conditions, but also helping them identity the source of the illnesses and conditions to provide a stronger treatment recommendation, as she says “individualized care.”
“If you want to help people, you can’t walk around with blinders on,” Kellie said. “It’s not just finding the drug to treat the symptoms. It’s finding the problem and fixing the problem.”
What Kellie has discovered is that by creating custom blends using all plants, supplements, minerals, roots, terpenes and cannabinoids she can make a real difference in helping someone who may suffer from many conditions like and not limited to rheumatoid arthritis, MS, stress/anxiety, diabetes, pain, insomnia, digestive, neurological disorders, etc.
Many times Kellie said she will see people who come here from as far away as New Jersey who are their wits end after taking so many prescribed medications without gaining the relief they seek.
To best help them, Kellie asks to view their medical history, lab tests, blood work and share as much information with her as possible to help her pinpoint causation and create the best custom blend.
“Sometimes I hit the nail right on the head the first day,” she said. Other times it takes multiple attempts to find something that works for them. “My analysis is free, my samples are free and my time is free,” Kellie said.
“Who I am is I won’t stop unless I find something,” Kellie explained. “I want everyone to have a better quality of life.”
Kellie said she recently treated a patient who suffers from Tardive Dyskinesia, a condition affecting the nervous system, often caused by long-term use of some psychiatric drugs. This condition causes repetitive, involuntary movements, such as grimacing and eye blinking. It affects people in a manner that social events are no longer something enjoyable.
Having never had a patient that had TD, Dr. Kellie asked, “Will you be my guinea pig?”
Kellie immediately created a custom blend for this patient based upon her knowledge of the condition, the knowledge of the medications that the patient was currently taking or had taken, what worked and what did not work. After 2 days of taking the custom blend, the patient reported that her involuntary movements saw a 50 percent reduction. “She explained to me how ecstatic she was and that public social events were now a part of her future, her esteem/confidence was back, her want to visit with family had returned, basically she got her life back,” Kellie said.
Kellie said that when Tricann was newly opened at their first location in 2016, she once treated a teen who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. Kellie described her as a young girl who suffered from chronic social anxiety because her condition was so bad she couldn’t even leave her house. Within a short time after taking Tricann’s custom proprietary GI blend, she too had her life back. “She has friends. She hangs out and it changed the girl’s life,” Kellie said.
“I thrive on helping people. If they are willing to let me try to help, I will do the best that I can to offer them care management recommendations and/or provide them with custom blends to aide in their reduction of symptoms.” Kellie said.
Her journey of co-founding Tricann with her business partner Aaron has been a long and fruitful one that has been filled with a desire to learn, heal and educate.
Kellie attended the University of Maine in Orono to study pre-veterinarian medicine, which turned into obtaining a nursing degree with a minor in nutrition. Kellie did not use her nursing degree right after college. Instead she returned to Biddeford Pool and worked for an agency that cares for mentally-challenged people in the Biddeford-Saco area.
“They just love to be loved and I loved to love them,” Kellie recalled.
At some point, Kellie decided she wanted to leave Maine for a while and followed her then-boyfriend to Marietta, Ga., where he attended Life college. Soon after, they found the perfect and serene Sherman College of Chiropractic in South Carolina, which is on top of a mountain overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and moved there. He to finish his Chiropractic career and her to get her Nurse Practitioners degree at the University of South Carolina.
Having to await fall classes to start at USC, Kellie attended philosophy classes every morning to gain more of an understanding of Chiropractic. Soon, she began to see how all of the body’s components are interconnected and it fascinated her, so she decided that a Chiropractic degree would better fulfil her needs of helping people find and treat their conditions and symptoms.
Kellie later married and graduated from school, while awaiting her husband’s graduation, she thought it would be best to get her feet wet into the world of being an entrepreneur. At the age of 27, she opened her first business, Kel’s Café, which she was the chef serving made from scratch organic vegetarian food, coffee, expressos, lattes, smoothies, soup, sandwiches, dinners. With her knowledge of the body and nutrition, Kellie made sure that all of her food was fresh, nothing was ever from a box, from a can, fried or frozen. She eventually had a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu and often worked from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. When her husband graduated, Kellie shut down the café and started Chiropractic wellness with him and others.
After being diagnosed with cancer, she found her way back to the New England area and focused on her own healing, while working in Massachusetts.
This is where she and Aaron started looking into cannabis as medicine. They started consulting and creating custom blends for patients to help with their conditions. The results that they saw, were incredible. When Maine legalized medical marijuana, coming back home was the only option. The dream of owning a medical marijuana and CBD dispensary became a reality and provided a place where she could share the knowledge and experience that was gained throughout the years.
Kellie believes she is part healer, part scientist, part researcher and part innovator. Her curiosity and drive to help patients find the right treatment is insatiable. “It’s very individualized care is what I do.”
Tricann currently employs 14 people. Within the last year, Tricann doubled its space, now having 1,200 square feet for retail, 1,200 square feet for the ethanol extraction lab and commercial kitchen, 800 square feet for the safe room where products are stored and protected.
Having more than 5,000 patients who travel from far and wide to get premium medical cannabis and CBD products, as well as, her custom THC/CBD blends, Kellie feels as though Tricanns’ message is being heard. Federal law prohibits shipping of any products containing THC, but Kellie she can ship CBD products. She would like to see the law amended to make it easier for patients who live far away to get their treatments without having to trek across several states.
While Tricann does not currently want to expand by adding adult rec marijuana, Kel’s CBD Café may find a new home inside the open space next to their newly renovated space. The CBD café would have wi-fi and encourage people to come, hang out, enjoy some coffee and be able to purchase their favorite CBD products.
The best advice she can offer anyone who is dealing with a difficult chronic condition is don’t lose hope and be willing to go “outside the box” to get the treatment they need. “Don’t be afraid to try something different.”
To learn more about Tricann, please visit tricann.com. All Photos by Michael D. Wilson.