What started as a family journey has turned into a journey for thousands. In this piece our Founder Zach Rohr reflects on the origin story of Minny Grown.
Made in Minnesota
Minnesota has always been my home. I was born and raised in the small town of Hastings where I went to high school and now live. I have always had aspirations to succeed and to make a positive impact on the others around me. I was fortunate enough to have parents who truly valued hard work, family, friends, and community.
After graduating from high school, I earned an athletic scholarship at Ohio University where I was a student athlete on the wrestling team. After multiple heads injuries and a few surgeries, I came to the realization that my athletic pursuit was over, so I came back home to Minnesota and finished my education at St. Cloud State University. After kicking the tires on what to do after graduating, I reinvested into my education and obtained a Juris Doctorate degree at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul. I went to law school but knew that I wasn’t going to practice law. I studied FDA regulations and the cannabis industry and set my sights on inspiring long overdue change in my local community.
Cannabis as Medicine
My first introduction to medicinal cannabis was nothing short of a miracle. I have two younger cousins who suffer from Angelman syndrome, a complex genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. This disease can induce seizures, which was happening to the oldest of the two girls. After running out of solutions to help with the seizures, my cousins’ parents turned to a community of parents called, “Angel Parents” who turned them onto CBD and suggested that it might work for the oldest daughter who was experiencing seizures.
This was when CBD was just getting popular. My family members were nervous because of the misconception that it would be like “giving their child marijuana”, but they had tried everything else. Any hesitation quickly vanished because the CBD started working. The seizures were dramatically reduced and my cousin’s overall health improved. Our family was amazed. And, although it was not a cure for Angelman syndrome, CBD is contributing to a quality for my cousins.
Living through America’s Drug Crisis
Throughout high school I witnessed classmates get addicted to prescription opioids and street drugs. I literally watched friends being prescribed methadone before they were old enough for a driver’s license.
Just a few years later after college, I suddenly lost a close friend (who was a former college teammate) to a drug overdose. What started as a legal opioid prescription to manage pain, ended in a heroin addiction and death. In quick succession, I lost another close friend (and college teammate) to a black market anti-anxiety medication. The loss of my two close friends still deeply pains me to this day. I miss them everyday and would do anything to have them back.
My two friends were awesome people. They grew up in loving families and had great friends. They were both honor roll students with ambitions to succeed professionally. Both of them were also multiple-time state champions and division one athletes who had earned a scholarship to attend college. They were not bad people, they simply got caught up in a drug crisis that has taken the lives of so many.
Fueling Change and Inspiring Hope
The unlikely mixture of miracle and tragedy happened at the perfect time in my life.
When I lost my friends I had started to experience a steady decline in my own health. After seeing multiple doctors and specialists, it became apparent that my years of wrestling and grinding through injuries were catching up with me. I was in a lot of physical pain, which was wearing on my mental health. With my medical history and litany of injuries, I could have easily gone to the doctor and obtained a prescriptions to help manage the pain and anxiety.
But, I had already seen what prescription opioids and anti anxiety medications had done to my friends and community. Instead of going down the route of pharmaceutical drugs, I started to make major lifestyle changes, one of which was using cannabis with CBD oil. After CBD alleviated my pain and my mental health began to improve, I became intrigued with the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant and started to study it.
I wanted to learn everything. In my final year of law school, I became an expert on Cannabis, CBD, and the FDA. I read up on the politically-fueled history of how cannabis came to be classified as a drug. And not only did I know things from a legal standpoint, but I was up-to-date on the science, manufacturing techniques, and had educated myself on how to properly grow cannabis in Minnesota.
I deeply believed, and still believe to this day that CBD and cannabis can create positive change and hope in my community – so I set out to create Minnesota’s number one cannabis company. In our first year Minny Grown won the Nation’s first ever CBD Cup, and we have since gone on to become the leading hemp company in the Midwest, United States.
Minny Grown: Minnesota, USA
What started as a family journey has now turned into a journey for thousands. Today, Minny Grown continues as a family run company that is focused on helping others in the local community. I’m extremely proud of everything we have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time – and we’re just getting started.
The success stories of our customers is what inspires us everyday. We are truly creating positive change and will continue to do so as we strive to bring more Minnesotans the highest quality cannabis products. If you have your own Minny Grown success story, I’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org