In this blog our founder, Zach Rohr, writes and reflects on the origins of Minny Grown and his connection to the Minnesota community.
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, and friends.
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 concussions and some major surgeries, 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. My sights were already set on CBD.
Cannabis as Medicine
My first introduction to CBD 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 drastically improved. Our family was amazed. And, although it was not a cure for Angelman syndrome, CBD contributed to a quality of life this child might never have had.
Living through America’s Opioid Crisis
Throughout high school, I witnessed classmates get addicted to prescription opioids and street drugs. Kids were being prescribed methadone before they were old enough for a driver’s license.
Just a few years later, I suddenly lost a close friend (who was a former 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.
These were people who grew up in loving families, with great friends. Honor roll students with ambitions. Multiple-time state champions and division one athletes who had earned a scholarship to attend college. They simply got caught up in America’s opioid epidemic.
Becoming an Expert in CBD
The unlikely mixture of miracle and tragedy happened at the perfect time in my life.
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 prescription to help manage the pain.
But, I had already seen what prescription opioids had done to my friends and community. Instead of going down the route of pharmaceutical opioids, I started using 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 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, had educated myself in the ideal climate that Minnesota provided for hemp farming, and was fascinated by the industry.
I had witnessed the destruction caused by the opioid crisis. I had experienced the natural benefits of CBD and the way it could change lives for the better. I knew that CBD and cannabis could create positive change and hope in my community – so I set out to create the best Minnesota-grown CBD products. In our first year, Minny Grown won the Midwest CBD Cup.
Minny Grown: Hemp with Heart
Today, Minny Grown continues as a family company focused on helping others. From soil to oil, we grow, harvest, process and craft our products right here in Minnesota. It’s hemp with heart.
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 are real and they inspire us everyday. We are truly creating positive change and will continue to do so as we strive to bring more Minnesotans the highest quality CBD products. If you have your own Minny Grown success story, I’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org