Black-Owned Cannabis Farm Has Opened In Georgia
Inspired by a desire to live free of pain and help loved ones do the same, two veterans of corporate America have opened a 17.5-acre hemp farm in Metter, Georgia, about a three-hour drive southeast of Atlanta.
The Green Toad Hemp Farm was co-founded by Reginald Reese, CEO, and Dwayne Hirsch, president. They became advocates for the benefits of the industry after surgeries or seeing family and friends suffer from autism, high blood pressure and cancer.
Reese became a believer after experiencing the healing properties for himself. Hirsch spent time researching the plant and its properties for his son, according to the Metter Advertiser.
Before becoming a hemp farmer, Reese worked for more than 25 years as a corporate executive in logistics and restaurant retail service at companies including WalMart, Ross, Sears and Shopko. He managed thousands of employees, billions in annual revenue and learned about massive scale.
“The knowledge and experience gained in Fortune 1 retail provides a significant strategic advantage for Green Toad as a Farm,” he said on the company website. His knowledge of logistics and distribution brings the ability “to deliver a farm-fresh smokable product to the market. This is an enormous advantage over other producers and distributors.”
Reese studied hemp farming with the University of Georgia and the State Department of Agriculture and was certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.
“Over the course of four years, I had spinal surgery, hand surgery, and two hip replacements,” Reese said in an interview with the Metter Advertiser. The surgeries left him in constant pain and reliant on prescription drugs.
“I took hydrocodone, morphine and muscle relaxers,” he said, “but, I couldn’t function on all of that medicine.” He learned of the healing benefits of CBD oil, tried it and it worked.
“Before long, I was off drugs and my body healed,” Reese said. He began to meet people in the CBD business.
A well-known Chicago native and professional, Hirsch has extensive experience in business development through real estate and consumer packaged goods.
His teenage son is on the autism spectrum and struggles with interpersonal communication, Hirsch said on the Green Toad Hemp Farm website. In looking for ways to help his son move toward independence and adulthood, Hirsch said he found promising information from the cannabinoid spectrum.
“I have taken on this assignment because I believe that the means to better health has always been denied to the people overall,” Hirsch said. “The re-emergence of hemp as a regenerative environmental plant and my ability to activate effectively in this space creates a dream opportunity to still be a pioneer among my peers in an industry that is old, yet very new again, and bursting with rewards.”
Georgia farmers were able to legally grow hemp for the first time in 2020 after state lawmakers legalized it in 2018. Georgia was late to the party — 41 states already had hemp farming programs. While Georgians could buy CBD oil in nutrition stores and gas stations, the product has been farmed, processed and shipped from out of state, AJC reported.
Candler County has always had an agricultural economy — cotton, tobacco, vidalia onions and peanuts. Green Toad Hemp Farm introduced a nontraditional crop, producing hemp for CBD use.
“Hemp is a perfect plant to grow in South Georgia,” Reese said.
They have planted five acres of hemp and have three greenhouses.
“God put CBD here to help us,” Reese said. “I want to share my experience and help others who are in pain.”
He said he believes the pharmaceutical industry wanted to make CBD illegal so that it could profit off prescription drugs. CBD in the form of hemp was illegal for 80 years.
“CBD reduces inflammation, and CBN is one of the greatest sleep providers available,” Hirsch said.
Green Toad Hemp Farm plans to open a dispensary in Metter at the corner of West South Broad and Flynt Streets.
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Sheen Magazine asked the Green Toad Hemp Farm co-founders what two moments in their lives changed them the most.
Hirsch replied, “The Million Man March in 1995 showed me the power of unity and inspired me to want to impact masses of people.”
Reece said, “The day I was able to get off opioid pain prescriptions and the day my health improved by 100 percent due to CBD.”
Hemp plants are defined as any cannabis plant that has 0.3 percent or less of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol — the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. CBD or cannabidiol is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in cannabis.