History is being made in Georgia as the first Black-Owned cannabis farm, co-founded by Dwayne Hirsch, a power executive from Chicago and the father of 17 year old son on the Autism Spectrum. Hirsch had never been very public about it and had chosen to focus on looking at ways to offset his son’s “symptoms” and Reginald Reggie had a stellar career of over 25 years as a retail corporate executive along with logistics and Restaurant retail service. With service as an executive at WalMart, Ross, Sears, Shopko and other great American retailers, Reggie has managed Billions in annual revenue and thousands of employees.
We caught up with the co-founders and spoke with them about their business.
How do you utilize your knowledge to benefit in the Hemp and inspire others?
We learned early on that Hemp is a plant that not many people knew how to grow properly. That’s in part because it had been Illegal for over 80 years. It meant to us that with proper study, we could enter a level playing field and have a real opportunity to provide daily wellness while being able to compete in the marketplace. That’s very exciting for us and inspiring to others. We both went all in and began to build the infrastructure of the Farm with our own hands.
What can hemp be used for?
Hemp has literally thousands of uses. On the industrial side, Hemp takes 4 months to grow and replaces trees that have taken 20+ years to grow. Paper, clothing and hempwood are just a few. Medically, the use of CBD products has taken the country by storm, providing relief of tension and anxiety, pain management, inflammation control and much more.
What two quotes do you use to motivate yourself and others?
Reginald: “What we do in life echoes in eternity”-Gladiator
Dwayne: Big fields await the wide awake man to work out in”- The Hon. Elijah Muhammad
What made you get into this industry?
Reginald: I had over 5 major surgeries in the past three years; spine surgery, two hip replacements, knee surgery and hand surgery. After using CBD consistently, I am completely off the many opioid prescriptions I was on and I can run a marathon right now and keep up with the best fit individuals.
Dwayne: In looking for ways to assist my son as he moves toward an independent, adult future, I have looked into promising information from the Cannabinoid spectrum. For my son, my aging Mother and the needs of people everywhere, and even family members who have passed on, I have taken on this assignment because I believe that the means to better health has always been denied to the people overall.
Please share the evolution of your brand and purpose.
We began to promote the brand in late 2019 without an actual product of our own. We built relationships while building the farm. Those relationships created revenue opportunities that we could engage while we prepare for planting season. As we put it out, we realized that people enjoy our logo and feel like it brings a touch of fun to the industry. We are in the Wellness industry and we believe that daily wellness can be fun and engaging for everyone, especially now as it becomes a greater priority in everyone’s daily lives.due to Covid 19. The feeding of the endocannabinoid system through the use of CBD products can relieve a host of daily wellness issues
How do you farm hemp for CBD?
CBD is farmed by planting genetics from feminized plants. The female Cannabis plant grows with the elevated levels of CBD that are harvested and extracted into the oils, smokeable flower and other bi-products that contain higher CBD levels.
What two moments in your life changed you the most?
Dwayne: The Million Man March in 1995 showed me the power of unity and inspired me to want to impact masses of people.
Reginald: The day I was able to get off opioid pain prescriptions and the day my health improved by 100% due to CBD.
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana? The two seem to be joined at the hip but they’re obviously quite different.
The simplest difference is that while each contains broad medicinal benefits, Hemp and its bi-products do not make its users “high”. The level of THC content in Marijuana produces that effect. Federally, Hemp is legal and Marijuana is not, though many states are adopting laws for recreational use. Hemp is legally classified as a Cannabis Saitva-L plant that contains 0.3% THC or less. These plants are high in Cannabidiol or CBD. This Cannabinoid produces great wellness benefits, without the “high”
How much labor goes into hemp production? How many workers do you need and what are labor costs like?
The labor in the cultivation of Female plants involves the work of removing weeds, harmful pests and any intrusions of male plants that may occur. Once ready, the harvest can include labor by hand of 5-10 laborers per acre, or by harvest machine.
The cost of each would vary greatly depending on the amount of acreage and/or total plants.
What sort of specialized materials or equipment are needed to produce hemp vs. traditional farming? What other input costs should a grower expect?
Materials that produce additional cost could include the treatment of soil that may have chemical imbalances or pesticides present in the soil. This can be very expensive. The installation of a raised bed planting system with drip irrigation and plastic mulch is also very common in hemp farming and also includes fumigation to help slow the growth of weeds during the grow cycle.
For more on Green Toad Hemp Farm, click here.
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