US (CT): From school buddies to hemp growers

Planting season has begun, and the CBG Gurus — Shawn Magill and Jacob Honig — are working their land for a late-summer crop of hemp. Since the legalization of cannabis in Connecticut, allowing businesses to sell and grow the plant, products from hemp plants have also grown in popularity. The hemp and cannabis are both cannabis plants, but hemp doesn’t have the same mood-altering levels of THC found in cannabis. Hemp does, however, have properties that can be helpful for people with anxiety, insomnia and trouble concentrating, Magill said.

Seeing an opportunity to invest himself in producing hemp to smoke or use in a tincture, Magill set about learning everything he could about growing it and creating products with his own crop. A graduate of Northern Michigan University, he has a degree in medicinal plant chemistry “with an entrepreneurial track,” he said.

“Since high school, I knew I was going to go into the hemp industry,” Magill said. Honig attended George Washington University and studied international affairs. “I was thinking about the Peace Corps, or maybe the state department ... but I saw things happening, and I wasn’t sure,” he said.

Both men have known each other since grade school and are Lewis Mills High School graduates. When Magill approached Honig and asked him to join his venture, he happily said yes. “For a while, I was saying I’d do this after I retired, but we decided to start this company ourselves, the CBG Gurus,” Magill said. “When Jake came on, it was pretty exciting.”

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