The co-founders of Georgia’s first Black-owned hemp farm, The Green Toad Hemp, are striving to encourage and educate Black farmers while building their brand.
The farm’s chief operating officer, Dwayne Hirsch, and chief executive officer, Reginald Reese, have different backgrounds but shared goals. After discovering CBD, the eager business partners established the hemp farm in July 2019 and received its license in April 2020, the Hemp Grower reported.
Reese, a former senior-level corporate executive, found a better option in CBD products to help him relieve the chronic pain from back and hip surgeries.
Hirsch, who has an autistic son, took an interest in the plant, hoping that “CBD and cannabis could help resolve certain symptoms related to the autism spectrum,” according to the SaportaReport.
The Green Toad Hemp was inspired by the loud green toads that lived in the fountain of Reese’s Atlanta area home. What started as a 17.5-acre plot in Metter, Georgia, has expanded to two locations in Metter and on McDaniel Street in Southwest Atlanta houses.
The Green Toad Hemp grows hemp for CBD, flower, and oil with a fully integrated operation. Hirsch and Reese have produced over 50 items, including the bestselling Delta 8 Pre-rolls, full-spectrum oil, Delta 8 CBD gummies, and a complete line of flowers, topicals, edibles, tinctures, vapes, capsules, pet CBD products, and more.
“It’s done from our sacrifice driven by our love for our own health and daily wellness. I love to see that for other people to be able to have that and for all of us to have an opportunity to advance our professional interests in the future.”Dwayne Hirsch
As a first-generation farmer, Hirsch said that Black farmers could benefit from adding CBD to their crop portfolios to get ahead of the ongoing redlining and loan discrimination. By 2017, minorities made up less than 2% of agricultural landowners in the United States. The business partners have helped several farmers get their licenses.
“I think when Black farmers figure out how to get their businesses and farms funded in a way that would help them, we could really…become a part of this industry as Black growers,” Reese told Hemp Grower.
Reese and Hirsch plan on franchising the company to future retail stores and to launch products in a thousand major retail locations in a thousand days. They also want to help entrepreneurs foster the importance of health and wellness that is affordable, manageable, and sustainable.
“Our intent is to be a diligent operator within our community and one that can be a platform for inspiration for others,” Hirsch said.