By Patricia Whyte
You hear the familiar strains of Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi’s Blues Brothers’ version of “Have Love, Will Travel” as actor, musician, and entrepreneur Jim Belushi introduces the world to his farm in a teaser video. The land is called Eagle Point, 93 acres along the Rogue River in Southern Oregon’s Rogue River Valley, and provides a restorative to all five senses, a place where nature’s medicine can surely flourish. Then, you see all the cannabis plants, the smile on Belushi’s face and that of his team, and you know – not only will the According to Jim star now be concentrating on different kinds of “strains,” but his love for humanity has clearly led him to travel to the right place.
Welcome to Belushi’s Farm, a fully-functional agricultural enterprise dedicated to medical and adult-use cannabis. Premium sungrown genetics are headed by lead grower Thom Lund and cultivated, hand-harvested and cured by a core seven-person team. Multiple varieties are sold at select dispensaries in Oregon under the product line Belushi’s Secret Stash.
Jim Belushi was drawn to Oregon’s Rogue Valley twelve years ago, to a riverfront where the sun, water and air make the perfect combination to sustain naturally powerful cannabis. The Eagle Point plot was originally home to an old Elks Lodge picnic ground. Belushi had a vision and bought the property, quickly getting to work refurbishing everything himself, retaining as much of its millennia-old history as possible. The process was documented by the DIY Network show, Building Belushi.
Beside his esteemed acting career, Belushi has become a prominent figure in the cannabis industry, and his ambitions to take the farms to a national level reflect the rapid evolution of cannabis into a big business. Belushi’s Secret Stash line of cannabis flowers are specially grown and one strain in particular, Captain Jack’s Gulzar Afghanica, was dubbed “The Smell of SNL” in the early 1970s. Captain Jack was the “backstage friend” of the Saturday Night Live writers and cast. Phylos Bioscience, a Portland-based agricultural genomics company with the world’s largest genetics database for the plant, recently certified Captain Jack’s Gulzar Afghanica as “one of the most genetically stable varieties of cannabis.”
The Private Vault line includes such strains as Black Diamond OG, Bubblemint, Purple Pineapple Afghani, Lemon Chiffon Cake, Grapefruit Kush, and so many more. Of all the cultivars Belushi’s Farm produces, Cherry Pie is Jim’s favorite.
“We call it ‘The Marriage Counselor’ — after I’ve taken a hit, my wife always says, ‘Well, aren’t YOU being charming tonight!’ and I say, ‘Am I?’,” Belushi said.
But Belushi’s dedication to cannabis goes far beyond enjoying the plant’s relaxing effects. The actor’s own family experience has been marred by opioids and the stigmatization of cannabis, with his brother, comedian John Belushi, having died of an opiate overdose in 1982. The company’s mission is multifold, growing top-quality cannabis sustainably while also educating the public about the plant and getting people access to the medicine they need. As Belushi recently told Crain’s Chicago Business after headlining a fundraiser for the Chicago Innovation Foundation: “It’s about the Mission From God, John died from an opiate overdose. It collapsed our family. I want to save families, lives and communities. If John were a pothead, I believe he’d be alive today.”
His advocacy has led to the development of vitally important partnerships for social justice, meaning he can save perhaps even more communities than he realized. Most recently, Belushi hosted the launch of The Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit founded by veteran cannabis activists Steve and Andrew DeAngelo. The organization seeks to raise money to release people who are still incarcerated due to policies instituted by the War on Drugs, and to provide resources to facilitate their transition to life after prison.
As the team at Belushi’s Farm prepares for their biggest season of operation yet, it’s clear that Jim Belushi is bringing his enormous heart to the cannabis industry. We can’t wait for the medicines emerging from Belushi’s Secret Stash to transform the world, just as the beauty of Eagle Point has transformed its owner’s life purpose forever. Now that’s the kind of love that will travel with you always.
**A version of this article appeared in print in the PRIMO edition of HONEY POT. Find the full issue now in Barnes & Noble and Books A Million locations nationwide, as well as other major retailers, and digitally on the Honeysuckle Magazine app for iTunes and Google Play, Apple News and Zinio.