Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. Each week, we profile a noteworthy business pioneer and ask each 5 questions. This week’s featured trailblazers are Angela and Jared Panks, founders of Home Grown ORegonicX.
Tell us about your Company
Our farm, Home Grown ORegonicX is a medical garden in Southern Oregon. We provide our deaf community and patients with a place to grow organic medical cannabis and teach conscious cultivation practices. We use nature and biodiversity to provide the cleanest herbs possible and employee our deaf community to the best of our ability. A hands on learning approach is the best way to teach our deaf community.
We have been growing cannabis since 2007 for our family and patients. We recently started doing tutorial videos on cannabis cultivation and the medical benefits of cannabis for the deaf and hearing impaired community. We want our community to understand the medical benefits of cannabis and about the Endocannabinoid System, Organic cultivation and how it can benefit us all. It’s a challenge for us because the ASL Language is still being created on cannabis and science in general. A lot of words or concepts need to be finger spelled for people to understand what we are taking about which can be a challenge in itself. For many years the science behind cannabis and cannabinoids has been hidden to our community and we are trying to change that.
We began terpene mapping the various strains we would grow so that we could get a better idea of how our herbs would interact on a patient and try to make specialized medicine to help with people’s various issues. Our goal is to work with nature and your Endocannabinoid System to allow people to live a quality of life. Knowing which strains produce specific terpenes and how it will affect someone is important. Not everyone wants to get high. Most people want to lead a productive, healthy life style and we are here to support that.
We also want to open up the cannabis industry to the deaf global community. We need to dispel the negative stigmas associated with cannabis and promote knowledge and a deeper understanding of nature and its importance. Breaking down these communication and information barriers for our deaf community is our mission; giving our community a better opportunity is our goal.
Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?
We are passionate about medical cannabis, we know that it has healed so many people and has had a positive impact, giving people a better quality of life. The majority of our deaf community is missing out on the benefits that cannabis could bring to their life and surroundings. Some people are still stuck on the stigma behind it. We travel to lots of cannabis events during the past 5 years to bring deaf/cannabis awareness to our industry and community. We still haven’t met another deaf grower aside from our little tribe. We must change that by providing an education and opportunities. Without education, there is no opportunity for this forgotten community.
What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?
The change we will address is raising deaf awareness in cannabis industry by inspiring cannabis entrepreneurs to be more involved in the deaf community. We want the deaf and hard of hearing community to be part of this industry. Going to cannabis related events has brought awareness and people want to be a part of opening this world up to our community. Providing education content to the deaf demographic in the cannabis community and getting sign language interpreters for future events.
We are working with ECS Therapy in CO to develop sign language for cannabis world, making it easier for the deaf to be part of this fast growing industry and creating language to represent the science behind cannabis.
We want to raise awareness on Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) which is a rare condition where a heavy cannabis user can become violently ill over a period of time. The symptoms mimic those of someone going through a detox. CHS expresses itself with a fever, cold sweats cyclic vomiting, extreme dehydration and the relief of extremely hot baths or showers.
Usher Syndrome is where deaf and hearing impaired individuals slowly go blind. It is a genetic trait that only effect the hearing impaired. Angela was diagnosed with Ushers Syndrome as a kid and has experienced persistent vision loss. She believes that her cannabis use has slowed the diseases progress and it’s a topic that hasn’t been researched.
Organic practice. Making more videos in sign language demonstrating organic cultivation practices. Demonstrating how you can build an ecosystem, worm farming, Integrated Pest Management, Fermentation, compost teas, companion cropping and so much more. Without education there is no opportunity.
What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?
The responses we’ve received have been amazing; people have told us so many times how we open their eyes to the deaf world, and that they want to do whatever possible to help. We met a man at a conference he was speaking at 3 years prior. Jared was interpreting for our group at the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference when we first met. We ran into him again at The Emerald Cup and he was anxious to tell us how after that experience he went on to take sign language. He also as 2 employees that speak sign language.
For being a small group, we have made a lasting impact on this industry and we hope to leave a mark on the world. Jared was a Paramedic/Hotshot/Fire fighter in his former life. Angela owned her own painting business and worked for Legal Shield providing the deaf community with legal representation before getting into the cannabis industry. Our mission has always been to change the world and to leave a positive impact on anything that we put our minds towards. Our lives are a testament of that.
Many people ask how they can help and urged us to form a nonprofit organization which is a difficult thing to do in the cannabis industry. Luckily enough we have partnered with ECS Therapy and we now have a way for people to help us in our mission. We want to be able to change the world for the better and now we have another way for people can participate.
In general, the cannabis community is a kind group of individuals who are genuine and sincere. There have been many life changing experience for both the people we meet and for us as well. We look forward to seeing what God bring into our paths.
People are often bewildered by what we are trying to do. When they see the cannabis we can produce with minimal cost. We can grow organic sun grown cannabis and compete with indoor cultivators in quality. To be able to do this with a small group of deaf patients and create opportunities for them is surreal. Showing our deaf community how to work with nature and building something that will provide food, health and benefit the world. When people actually see the garden they always comment on the attention to detail that we have put into this project. We have had a chance to We had Tommy Chongs family to our home and the first thing they said was, “they had never seen a garden like this before.” What we do has been around for a long time, how we do it is original and progressive.
Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?
Just being a part of this industry is a milestone. With how Oregon’s legalization process has gone, it has been very difficult. Medical Cultivators have been locked out of a legal market since recreational use was passed. Medical growers fought for legalization and created a great medical system. We were in 70 different stores in Oregon before the OLCC pushed us out of the legal cannabis business market. Continuing to fight for fair access to a legal market is important and we can’t stop until all medical cannabis is no longer the face of the black market.
Creating Sign Language for the cannabis industry is a pretty big milestone too. Working with ECS Therapy to create these opportunities for our deaf community is such an honor. Getting a Non-Profit organization to sponsor us was a pretty tall task considering the Federal Laws and this newly emerging industry. It’s a step in the right direction and one of many obstacles we have been able to overcome.
We would also like to build a garden where we can bring deaf people from all over the world to teach them hand on cultivation practices and to have a home for those in our community who want to participate in the cannabis industry. We can’t wait to represent the deaf in this industry and get our products out there so people experience it for themselves.
We have just started going around and making videos of cannabis cups and different events surrounding this industry. We have had the chance to conduct a few interviews and we look forward to getting this stuff put up on our website. Doing things like this will only debunk the stigma around cannabis culture and help people make better life choices.
We would like to work with a lot of different people on different platforms to create educational content and bring the cannabis message to the globe in Sign Language. We want to share their testimonies and hopefully change people’s lives for the better. Maybe a movie in the future…. Lots of people have bounced ideas off of us. It’s just about finding the right people to do the right things with for the right reason. We want to change the worlds perspective and we can’t do it alone.