A Commitment to the Culture

in Culture

Legal cannabis businesses exist today only because longtime advocates and cultivators have paved the way for progress. Co-founded by longtime cultivators Dennis Hunter and Ned Fussell under the CannaCraft company umbrella, Farmer and the Felon has two primary missions: First, to preserve cannabis history and collaborate with legacy cultivators who have spent decades growing the plant long before legalization became a reality in California, and second, to work with Last Prisoner Project (LPP) to offer support to individuals who are still suffering in prison for nonviolent cannabis convictions. With these goals in mind, Farmer and the Felon sets out to keep the stories and sacrifices of people in the cannabis industry alive.

Hunter’s personal history as a grower and cannabis prisoner stems from spending his youth living in the Emerald Triangle. The underground cannabis community and lifestyle inspired him, and he began to build upon that passion for cultivation. His passion also led to increased attention from law enforcement. He recalls the early 1990s when the police would use aerial surveillance helicopters to spot hidden cannabis grows from above.

“Helicopters [were] looking for your plants out in the woods, and you’re trying to camouflage them,” Hunter said. “And so back then, we were growing, you know, hiding all of our plants before Prop. 215, where people started to be allowed to grow a certain amount of plants in their backyards.”

Even after Prop. 215 was passed in California in 1996, Hunter’s operation continued to grow, and its prominence eventually attracted the attention of the DEA. In 1998, his operation was raided, which forced him and his family to hide for four and a half years—complete with alternate identities. However, the DEA finally caught up with him, and he went to prison.

After spending six and a half years away from …

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Author: Ashley Kern / High Times

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