04 Mar Garcia Hand Picked Continues In The Family’s Cannabis Traditions
Garcia Hand Picked Continues In The Family’s Cannabis Traditions
“Jerry didn’t smoke much weed by himself. It was a social interaction. A joint became a bridge between him and those around him,”
Had he lived through his health struggles, Grateful Dead guitarist/co-founder Jerry Garcia would be 78 years old today, and likely pretty stoked about how far the cannabis movement has come here in the United States. A long way from being busted on Bourbon Street in New Orleans in 1970, as Garcia and his bandmates were demonized for drug use for most of their careers.
Garcia Hand Picked (GHP) is a new endeavor/family business that bears the name, spirit and ethos of the late cultural icon. The exciting new brand is a curated collection of high-grade craft cannabis flower, assorted pre-rolls, delectable edibles, and various accessories developed by the late guitarist’s surviving family members, in partnership with Holistic Industries. Garcia Hand Picked is now available in California in select dispensaries..
Holistic Industries is committed to working closely with the family unit, focusing on all aspects of the new enterprise to honor Jerry’s legacy and connection to cannabis. Garcia Hand Picked is nothing if not a family affair, with a proud, defiant, vibrant legacy that continues to grow like it’s magical marijuana strains.
They started with a classic from Grateful Dead tour lore: Chemdog. The family considers it a community strain, one that conjures up the spirit and the history of the scene. Holistic Industries has taken the requisite steps to properly engineer the genetics of a strain that originally came from a bag of seeds exchanged outside of a Dead show. Chemdog is certainly an appropriate embarkation strain upon which GHP can take flight.
The much-anticipated announcement of Garcia Hand Picked was a milestone of sorts, over five years in the making, with many meetings taken within the legal cannabis industry along the way. Numerous different companies bid for the opportunity to take part in such a coveted collaboration. The decision to link up with Holistic Industries as its official cultivation and distribution partner was entirely up to the Garcia Family — his daughters, Trixie Garcia, Annabelle Garcia, Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Adams (MG), Sunshine Kesey (Ken’s daughter), Heather Katz, and Tiff Garcia’s estate (Jerry’s brother who passed away in 2017).
Jerry Garcia’s cannabis roots run pretty deep. In 1972 while Jerry was on tour with the Grateful Dead, ex-wife “Mountain Girl” Adams was living in their home on Stinson Beach. A sleepy, quiet enclave near San Francisco, she spent her time raising their young daughters, and low-key pioneering the ganja grow scene of the early wild western frontier.
“We stayed below the radar as much as possible,” said M.G. with a fond recollection.
It started after a pilot-friend who worked with the family gifted M.G. four seeds he’d smuggled back from Thailand. Mountain Girl was not merely some deadbeat stoner, either; she was a dedicated horticulturist. She grew up in Hyde Park, NY on a sprawling farm, her father worked as an entomologist for the Department of Agriculture, and her mom was a botanical illustrator. No matter where the family went, they were always about the plants.
Daughter Annabelle recalls the cannabis presence in her father’s storied life. “Jerry didn’t smoke much weed by himself. It was a social interaction. A joint became a bridge between him and those around him,”, the late guitarist’s daughter reflected.
The image that is emblazoned on the GHP products is a photograph of Garcia taken from the Dead’s famed 1978 Egypt trip, with a bit of a Haight Ashbury psychedelic flair to boot.
Holistic Industries originally planned a major marketing rollout to debut the craft cannabis line throughout the summer 2020 music festival season, but sadly the coronavirus-related cancellations made that impossible. Instead, Garcia Hand Picked launched a promotion with a traveling day-glo Airstream, christened Bertha after the song by the same name. Bertha traveled across California for a couple of months promoting GHP.
Back in the day, M.G. developed a reputation on the GD scene, and over time her green thumb has paid off. On the legendary 70’s and 80’s Dead tours, her ganja may have been a bit too potent for her to smoke—but the motley crew of Grateful Dead roadies loved her strains, and she was referred to as a cannabis queen.
Through the years, many grower-heads sought her mystical botanical secrets. Drawing from her skills and extensive research, she wrote a seminal book on cannabis cultivation. Primo Plant was almost instantly the bible for big West Coast organic outdoor grows. This is an essential part of the Garcia family cannabis legacy.
“Considering that our mom wrote one of the first books in the world on how to grow home-based marijuana,” Annabelle says, “it’s just been part of our society and our culture and our family.”
The way Jerry lived his life, and how he lost it is a motivation for creating a cannabis brand in his name. While it’s still not scientifically proven that legal cannabis will lead to the reduction of overdose deaths from other drugs, the family hopes it might help those who grapple with opioid addiction, like Jerry did for the last two decades of his life.