The Blues Brothers’ mission of loyalty, hard work, and purpose expands into the cannabis industry, led by Jim Belushi’s passion for growth and healing.
"I hold her hand and we walk into the future to see where we can help ever, and hurt never." - Jim Belushi
It’s a beautiful spring day in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago when we jump on a video chat with Jim Belushi. He’s sitting outside in his apartment garden courtyard, puffing on a stogie, and occasionally enjoying a casual conversation with a neighbor passing by to say hello or invite him for a beverage later. I’ve watched Mr. Belushi on television since I was a child in According to Jim, and later, on his show Growing Belushi, which just wrapped up its third season. He’s about as laid back as one might expect, much nicer than I thought he might be, and intensely passionate about growing cannabis, making it accessible for everyone, and continuing to learn while growing the best possible weed he can.
Belushi's involvement in the cannabis industry extends beyond his on-screen presence. He owns and operates Belushi's Farm in Oregon, where he cultivates and produces cannabis products. His advocacy for medical cannabis stems from his personal experience, and he aims to share the benefits with others through his brand.
His reality TV series called "Growing Belushi," documents his experiences and challenges in the cannabis industry. The show provides a behind-the-scenes look at his farm and his passion for cannabis cultivation. Jim's cannabis farm, Belushi's Farm, located in Oregon, has become a symbol of his personal growth and passion for the plant. He discusses the profound impact of the feminine energy of cannabis and how it has transformed him as a person. Jim's journey involves exploring different strains worldwide and continuously improving the quality of his products.
"That's why it's called Growing Belushi. It's not just about growing cannabis, it's about the relationship with the feminine energy of the plant and how I've grown as a person. It is my cannabis journey." - Jim Belushi
It's not just about cultivating cannabis; it's about the profound connection with the feminine energy of the plant and personal growth. Belushi describes it as his cannabis journey, which has led him to discover the peace that comes with cannabis. As he embarks on this journey, he hopes to educate and inspire others about the benefits of cannabis as a medicine and an agricultural marvel..
"I don't know if I can use the word 'Happiness' anymore. Do you know how I describe my journey of cannabis? Peaceful. I think that's my new word for happy. It's the peace that comes along with cannabis that I really am discovering." - Jim Belushi
The show "Growing Belushi" is also focused on agriculture, the retail industry, and bringing joy to the audience. The show's three seasons are available for streaming on platforms like Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube.
Jim Belushi's dedication to quality is evident in his pursuit of classic genetics for the Arizona market. He has traveled the world to discover new strains and continues to develop Belushi's Farm strains. Captain Jack, an Afghan strain, is on the verge of stabilization, and other unique strains like Big Sur Holy Weed and Sage from Mohave are in the works. Belushi's goal is to provide specialty strains that cater to local preferences while ensuring the highest quality.
Belushi's Farm Strains & Specialty Selections:
The unique strains coming to the Arizona market, including Captain Jack, an Afghan strain known for its strength and stability. He also mentions Big Sur Holy Weed, developed by Bodhi Seeds, which offers energizing qualities and intricate Blueberry-menthol aromas. Other strains such as Cherry Pie, Garlic Mints, and Mule Fuel will be part of the Blues Brothers selection, with additional local strains being considered.
"We are almost there with Captain Jack, an Afghan strain I've had for a while, but you know it's a land race that is very stubborn... We just acquired Big Sur Holy Weed, Sage from Mohave, which is going to be a unique strain... Those are going to be the specialty strains plus Cherry Pie, Garlic Mints, and Mule Fuel." - Jim Belushi
Big Sur Holy Weed: Developed by Bodhi Seeds, this sativa hybrid strain is characterized as a mood lifter. Known for intricate aromas and energizing qualities that are particularly popular among cannabis connoisseurs.
Check out the hunt for Big Sur Holy Weed on Growing Belushi Season 3 Episode 4. Starring Jim Belushi & Dan Aykroyd.
Getting to know a little more about Jim was a true pleasure, and we quickly realized both how genuine he is, and how much he cares about cannabis and community. “I graduated with a BS and speech and theater, and if I went back for a master's program, I would have gone into cultivation. It’s so interesting to me and just keeps you challenged, guessing and thinking and planning. I'm totally OCD, so it fits me perfectly… science, you know, I wish for that knowledge.”
“Over-regulation, over-taxation is the new War on Drugs”. -Jim Belushi
Jim expresses concern about the challenges faced by legacy farms in California due to oversupply and overregulation. He believes that the purpose of legalizing cannabis was to eliminate the black market, but the surplus is leading to increased illegal activity. Jim draws attention to the distinction between the legacy market and organized crime and calls for a fair approach from dispensary regulators.
Legacy farms in California are really struggling with surplus, as the market is flooded, and prices are plunging. Says Jim, “ it's putting people out of work, and the odd thing is that the whole purpose of legalizing cannabis is to get rid of the black market and they're doing great business on the black market. Let me distinguish between the black market and the traditional market. I don't want the audience to be confused that I'm jumping on everyone, because I'm not at all. There's a big difference between families who cultivated this industry for decades and organized crime. It remains to be seen which side of history dispensary regulators are on."
“State governments have made it so difficult for producers to keep a profit due to oversupply, over-taxation and over-regulation. It's sad that a lot of people are buying weed on the black market, but it's not weed that some hippie standing on a corner wearing a hoodie is manufacturing. Today's unlicensed markets across the country have many of the same edibles, vapes, infused joints and anything else that a dispensary offers. Legal cannabis companies are left feeling like they have to sell half of their product in the licensed market, and the other half out the back door just to survive let alone compete. This never happened beforehand, and that's another unfortunate truth there for licensed cannabis producers”.
We all know someone who's been indicted or spent time in federal prison for a non-violent cannabis crime. Belushi and his team work with the Last Prisoner Project to provide charity benefit performances by Blues Brothers & The Sacred Hearts Band. A mission of the Blues Brothers cannabis brand involves second chances, redemption and loyalty. Our collective fight to release non-violent cannabis prisoners is a mission from God that continues until every cannabis prisoner is released.
Reflecting on his own encounters with cannabis-related legal issues as a youth, Jim acknowledges the unjust treatment that marginalized communities face.
“I was busted three times for weed as a juvenile in a suburb and I got probation, but who knows if I was a black or brown kid. Just looking at the amount of arrests that have gone on in Chicago communities and the way families have been just devastated is just heartbreaking." - Jim Belushi
Looking at doing time for cannabis is horrible but what happens to the family unit is devastating. "A guy sells three pounds of cannabis, and what does he do with the money? He’s paying rent, he's feeding his kids, and putting food on the table for his family. Yes, he should be paying taxes and I get all that, but to use that to destroy a family, it's just so sad and unnecessary." Jim emphasized the devastating impact of cannabis-related arrests on families and calls for a more compassionate approach.
Belushi's Farm Supporting the Last Prisoner Project:
Belushi and his team collaborated with the Last Prisoner Project, an organization fighting for the release of nonviolent cannabis prisoners. Through benefit performances and charity work, the Blues Brothers cannabis brand aims to give second chances and promote redemption and loyalty. This mission from God continues until every cannabis prisoner is released. Jim continues his work with Last Prisoner Project by serving as an ambassador and advisor to the project.
“Instead of using Xanax, Ambien and hard alcohol, I’ve met so many people that have gotten off opiates using the cannabis plant,” said Jim.
He believes that everyone knows someone who is hurting and advocates for cannabis as an alternative to addictive substances.
Jim continues, “Some people are still frightened by cannabis but if they know how it grows, and that the people growing it are lovely people who care, and that it’s tested, clean medicine, they might experiment with cannabis themselves or help a friend who’s struggling and screaming inside, whether it’s from depression, anxiety, sleeplessness or hopelessness.”
"Cannabis is a safe, gentle pursuit in the Journey of healing and peace within yourself. It doesn’t alleviate all pain but it helps mitigate pain, it helps people tolerate pain.” - Jim Belushi
Belushi's Farm Expands into Arizona:
Belushi’s partnership with Green Med Wellness Center owner further solidifies his commitment to the cannabis community. They are launching the Belushi Farms brand of flower and edibles, among other celebrity brands, starting in the summer of 2023. The collaboration aims to launch starting with Mint Dispensary locations.
Jim shares details about the partnership between Belushi Farms and Green Med Wellness Center, owned by Murphy Kittrell and his daughter Adriana. The synergy between The Blues Brothers brand and the musical background of Murphy and Adriana creates a cohesive and beautiful partnership. Jim praises Murphy’s dedication to the medical cannabis community and Adriana’s musical background, which aligns well with the Blues Brothers brand.
In a Season 3 episode of Growing Belushi, Jim collaborates with Harambe Cafe to put on a live performance with his band. The lounge is open everyday to the public with a free membership. Harambe Cafe serves coffee drinks, snacks and hosts licensed cannabis vendors throughout the week at their events featuring music and other artistic vibes.
“I love Murphy and I love the Harambe Cafe lounge Adriana created. I love the way Niko grows cannabis and I’m really proud to be in Tucson and in Arizona. I can’t wait to get back down there and see you all again.” - Jim Belushi
It’s important to Jim and his team to build the Blues Brothers cannabis brand around Blues Brothers philosophies. For those not familiar with the cult classic film, The Blues Brothers is a fictional musical duo created by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in the late 1970s. In the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers,” the characters Jake and Elwood Blues embark on a mission to save the Catholic orphanage where they grew up by reuniting their old band and putting on a benefit concert.
The primary objective of the Blues Brothers is to raise enough money to prevent the closure of the St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage, which is facing foreclosure due to outstanding taxes. They are determined to fulfill their “mission from God” to save the orphanage and the children who reside there. They recruit their former bandmates, including a talented horn section, guitarist, and keyboardist, to revive their musical group and perform at the benefit concert. Their ultimate goal is to put on a memorable show to generate the necessary funds for the orphanage.
It's important to Jim and his team to build the Blues Brothers cannabis brand around Blues Brothers philosophies. For those not familiar with the cult classic film, The Blues Brothers is a fictional musical duo created by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in the late 1970s. In the 1980 film "The Blues Brothers," the characters Jake and Elwood Blues embark on a mission to save the Catholic orphanage where they grew up by reuniting their old band and putting on a benefit concert.
The primary objective of the Blues Brothers is to raise enough money to prevent the closure of the St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage, which is facing foreclosure due to outstanding taxes. They are determined to fulfill their "mission from God" to save the orphanage and the children who reside there. They recruit their former bandmates, including a talented horn section, guitarist, and keyboardist, to revive their musical group and perform at the benefit concert. Their ultimate goal is to put on a memorable show to generate the necessary funds for the orphanage.
"Everybody knows someone who is hurting." - Jim Belushi
Throughout their mission, the Blues Brothers encounter numerous obstacles and challenges. They face opposition from law enforcement, including police officers and the Illinois Nazi Party, who are pursuing them due to their reckless driving and criminal activities. The duo must evade capture while staying focused on their goal of saving the orphanage. Despite their flaws and differences, they stick together through thick and thin, showcasing the importance of loyalty and brotherhood.
The characters in the movie, particularly Jake and Elwood, are given a chance at redemption. Despite their past criminal activities, they are given an opportunity to make amends and do something positive for others. The film emphasizes the idea that everyone deserves a second chance and can choose to turn their lives around for the better.
Jim explores the parallels between the Blues Brothers and the cannabis industry, emphasizing the commitment to a higher purpose, the power of music, and standing up against injustice. The Blues Brothers cannabis brand aims to promote values, friendship, second chances, and a higher purpose, all while enjoying soulful music and the benefits of cannabis.
Belushi's foray into the cannabis industry is not just about catering to the stoner culture. He aims to shed light on the agriculture and retail aspects of the industry while injecting humor into the narrative. His reality TV series, "Growing Belushi," has gained popularity as it provides a behind-the-scenes look at his farm and his passion for cannabis cultivation. The show, available for streaming on platforms like Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube, showcases the challenges and triumphs of his cannabis journey.
Official Sponsor: Victor Calvo Boutique Cigars.
Esteli, Nicaragua www.victorcalvo.com
Special Thank you to the Belushi team Jim, Zoe, Marisela, Gregg and our entire project team for lending time and efforts to this project.
Belushi's Farm Picture Gallery
(photo credit: Tyler Maddox)