I was that kid that always seemed to get into trouble but cannabis was my escape from home life. As a pre teen I always tried to grow my own plants in the middle of a field or discreetly in my parents’ house. I clearly remember turning regular furniture into grow cabinets with computer fans and CFL lighting. Nothing ever seemed to turn out too amazing.
By the time I was 17 my life was spiraling downhill quickly. I was always in and out of juvenile hall from 12 to 17 years old. When I turned 18 I moved to a small town called El Cerrito CA. It was my first apartment. I was supposed to learn how to be an adult quickly and although that was the plan it did not turn out that way. I spent a lot of my free time growing cannabis in Berkeley CA, but I also got heavily involved with alcohol. like everyone else I fell in love with the plant yet my downfall was trying to be the life of the party which led to plenty of arrests involving alcohol.
At the age of 22 I was able to clean my life up. I checked into rehab for my alcohol issues. Although rehab was difficult it gave me plenty of time to focus on myself and get some much needed soul searching done. I was also lucky because this is where I was able to meet my wife. After rehab I had nowhere to go so ended up in a homeless shelter with absolutely nothing to my name. They helped me to get back on my feet by teaching me to save and offering me a program to get back into an apartment. At this point in life I quit growing cannabis.
At the age of 24 I had my first Daughter, Jaidah. The whole pregnancy was great and the day Jaidah was born is a day that changed our lives forever. Long story short is Jaidah was found to have a huge genetic deletion known as 17q22-23.1 and is the only person in the world with this deletion. At this point in my life I truly understood how to become humble and grateful. I started studying human genetics with the help of professors at Stanford University – somewhere between this time I got back into growing cannabis.
By the time my first daughter was 5 she already had a handful of surgeries with plenty more to come. We were able to find out some of the medicines she was on were causing even more issues e.g. Miralax was causing her to bang her head against walls. With this new information at hand I thought we needed to try something more natural, which finally brings me back to the plant I fell in love with as a kid.
This led to tons of research on cannabis use for kids. Unfortunately, at that time most of the research was only for children with seizures. We ended up watching a documentary called The Culture High where a parent named Jason David gave his son, Jayden, CBD; it was truly incredible what CBD was capable of. I eventually got in touch with Jason who was also in the same city as me at the time. Like any parent with a differently-abled child we did have financial issues and he just said not to worry about it. Jason gave us a syringe of Jayden’s Juice CBD and on the second day of using CBD my daughter was able to open her hands enough to hold a bottle for the first time in her life. This gave us tons of hope when we were desperate to find any answers.
During my whole search I was still growing and started to breed my own strains and mainly gave the seeds out for free on multiple forums such as IcMag, Grass City etc..
With the success of Jaidah using cannabis it made me focus on creating a strain specifically for her called Jaidah’s Hope – this project has been going on for years now and has been pushed to the back burner a couple of times. Jaidah has used CBD,CBDa,CBN,THC and THCa and this has all helped change my thought process and stop focusing on just CBD.
Somewhere during this time I was ordering seeds from a UK seed bank and they were being hand delivered to our growing location by one of their employees. I ended up becoming really great friends with him (Gavin). he eventually helped me with sorting cleaning and counting seeds. He also helped me get a job at a different UK-based seed bank, one of the largest banks in the world. My time there taught me a lot about customer service but also made me understand all of the issues that can arise from running such a company.
Gavin and I put our heads together to try to come up with solutions and decided to start a seed bank called Baked Beans – we are now almost 7 years in and I am going at it all mostly solo. I have spent all of my free time creating this company and didn’t pay myself for the first 6 years. Now I spend nearly 14 hours a day working on it and expanding slowly. But It has taught me a lot about myself and others. Everyone deserves to grow their own medicine and hopefully soon a cannabis garden will become the norm.
I am currently working on starting a new company and hope to launch mid-2021 – when I dive into something I always give it my all. With my background, which mostly is not discussed here, everyone thought I would amount to nothing. If this story of mine brings you anything, please let that be hope because if I can succeed at something then anyone can.
Published and Written by Josh, Bakedbeanseeds in Weed World Magazine Issue 148