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Royal Connection

Season 3 Episode 2

by Amanda Mackay

The crew at Growing Exposed is thrilled to share the first ever “All-Hemp” edition of our show.

Growing Exposed is well known in the cannabis industry for taking viewers inside the biggest grows in the country and introducing you to the people behind the plants. Today our tour guide, Justin Cooper, braves a rainstorm to take us to meet Tyler Dooley, at J and G Farms.

J and G Farms is actually a network of farms in the Medford, Oregon area. The place is huge. Over a thousand acres to be precise! Justin and Tyler will go off road to check it all out.

Tyler Dooley has been growing cannabis for a long time, but these days he’s probably better known for being the nephew of Megan Markle, aka wife of Prince Harry and now the duchess of Sussex.

Humans have grown hemp from the beginning of time. For hundreds of years it was a vital crop in North America and even George Washington was known to be a fan of the versatile crop. It was used to make clothing, food, paper and fuel. However, the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act made it illegal to grow the plant. Now, after 80 years of prohibition hemp is legal again.

We start our tour with Justin explaining how hemp plants are traditionally skinny with very little flower sites on them but due to hybridization they are starting to look more like the typical cannabis plant, and that it’s becoming harder to tell them apart.

Like the typical cannabis plant, hemp can be male and female and there is a risk of pollination, especially when grown from seed like the 1.5 million plants at J and G Farms. We hear how that has been a problem with cannabis growers that are growing close to Tyler’s hemp farm.

Hemp and cannabis look and smell the same but the obvious difference is the CBD factor. Hemp won’t get you high but still has medicinal properties like cannabis.

Tyler hasn’t always been focused on hemp though. When his Aunt Megan Markle became headline news for marrying Prince Harry in 2018, Tyler developed a cannabis strain named the Markle Sparkle, a result of cross breeding NYC Diesel with Northern Lights and Blueberry. Tyler talks about the difference between the west coast of America and London, England when it comes to the perception of cannabis.

At J and G Farms we hear how they grow their hemp from a seed starting in a greenhouse before being moved to the fields as we learn more about the different CBD strains they grow. We get up close to the plants and discuss the cannabinoids CBN, CBD, and CBG. Justin and Tyler talk genetics and aromas while checking out a second farm that’s part of the J and G network.

Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC but because it looks and grows like the type of cannabis that gets you high, the two often get confused. In Teachings of the Garden Sage, David Robinson elaborates on the difference between the two varieties of the same species and talks about the impact the plant has had on civilization since the beginning of time. He shares his theory that humanity actually evolved with cannabis as the cornerstone of civilization and questions “Are we cultivating cannabis? Or is cannabis cultivating us?”

Next, we go to Los Angeles where Amanda MacKay takes us inside the hemp factory to speak with a hemp pioneer, Lawrence Serbin and discover some of the many uses of the hemp plant. Lawrence has been involved in the hemp industry for decades and believes the crop can help save the world. We get hands on with textiles, twine, yarn, rope, insulation and more, all made from hemp. 

We also learn how hemp goes from a plant growing in a field, into such a wide variety of products. Lawrence shares all the advantages of using hemp over other materials.

Back at J and G Farms it’s harvest time and this hemp boasts 22% CBD. We delve further into other ways this extremely versatile plant can be used, and look into what could be in the future for the hemp plant.

For more exclusive garden tours from past seasons of Growing Exposed, go to growingexposed.com. We also love to connect on social media @growingexpsd @growgreenplanet @theamandamackay @thegardensagetm

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