Broussard’s hemp growers hope to become ‘the Amazon of the cannabis world’ | Business
Matt and Crystal Grayson are making their hemp farm in Broussard what they hope will one day become the Amazon of the cannabis world.
The husband-wife duo sold their home just before the pandemic and moved to a more rural property in Broussard to pursue his dream of growing and selling cannabis. Their goal for Zorrillo Cannabis Co. is to create a reputable operation that connects growers, producers and customers.
“He came to me one day, and he said, ‘What if we partner with these farmers? We help them grow. We process them and help them package and sell on our platform. We help them get in. Basically we would be the Amazon of the cannabis world, ”said Crystal Grayson.
Now, with a major growth operation in place, the Graysons are preparing to open up the Zorrillo manufacturing side.
The Graysons are currently renovating and moving to a warehouse at 103 Row 1 in Lafayette that previously housed Acme Freight Logistics. The space will look more like an Amazon fulfillment center than a traditional storefront in that it will primarily serve growers and producers before commercial products are sold online or in a retail environment, have said the Graysons.
“We sell processing products that they use to make their products,” said Matt Grayson. “We also sell to the consumer through the website and do custom orders, so they can come and pick them up, but most of the traffic that goes through this store will be my farmers and processors who will come and get orders for different things.”
Louisiana’s industrial hemp plan approved in December 2019 by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Industrial hemp is a plant in the cannabis family that is low in THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high. Hemp is frequently cultivated to extract CBD, a chemical that does not cause a high and is often used in personal care products or as a dietary supplement.
Louisiana hemp growers and growers are frequently inspected to ensure plants and products do not contain more than the federal limit of 0.3% total THC. Zorrillo has permits from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, including those for contract carriers, growers, seed growers, and processors.
Matt Grayson has said he became interested in cannabis while recovering from alcoholism. He said the products had helped him overcome addiction and his customers had reported improvement in a wide range of medical conditions.
“Our goal is to educate the public,” said Matt Grayson. “If you take out the outlaw aspects, the stigma, that wouldn’t be cool. It’s more of a drug. That’s what we’re trying to work for, is to remove that stigma so that people are not afraid of it. “
The United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved the cannabis plant for any medical use, although the FDA has approved several drugs containing individual cannabinoids.
There is some evidence that products containing cannabis compounds may be useful in the treatment of certain health conditions, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Research suggests that products containing cannabis compounds may be useful in treating certain rare forms of epilepsy, nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, loss of appetite, and weight loss associated with cancer. HIV / AIDS, chronic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis, according to the NCCIH. Studies have not determined whether cannabis products help manage pain, relieve anxiety, improve sleep quality, treat glaucoma, reduce symptoms of irritable bowel disease. , relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and reduce opioid use.
Dwayne Dugas, a Carencro-based hemp grower, said he overcame opioid addiction with the help of CBD products.
“I started trying CBD for my pain,” Dugas said. “I am a recovering opioid addict, and CBD has helped manage the pain.”
Dugas, who also owns a construction business, first started growing hemp for his own use.
He now has around 700 cannabis plants on his indoor farm and is one of the cultivators working with the Graysons via Zorrillo.
“What I have found in this industry is that not everyone is honest and has character,” Dugas said. “I was at a different company before, but Matt’s business plan and market vision set me apart as well as his honesty and character.
As they grow their business, Crystal Grayson continues to work full time and Matt Grayson has cut back on his lawn maintenance and landscaping activities. Their children also participate in the growth process.
Dugas and the Graysons have said they would one day like to grow marijuana if it is approved by Louisiana lawmakers for recreational use. To be successful, they said it was important to follow existing regulations for growing hemp.
The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Louisiana has gone further than ever this year after an unexpected bipartisan push.
“I wouldn’t call it a stepping stone,” Dugas said. “Our ultimate goal is to grow marijuana, but we’re not going to stop growing CBD once we can grow marijuana. They both have different medicinal benefits.”
Learn more about Zorrillo, which takes its name from the Spanish word for skunk, at zorrillo.com.