Beginning in June 1989, newspaper headlines blaring the phrase “Cornbread mafia” ran from coast-to-coast and around the globe — all to describe a network of outlaw Kentucky farmers busted on a network of 30 farms stretching across 10 midwestern states with what law enforcement claimed was 200 tons of marijuana. These Kentucky men stunned federal drug enforcement officials, who never dreamed that a domestic marijuana syndicate could grow to such a stunningly huge size.
Before Cornbread, the DEA assumed that the vast majority of marijuana consumed in America was smuggled in from Latin America or Asia. Little did they know, the most ideal conditions for growing cannabis were right in the middle of Kentucky.
THE 37TH PARALLEL
The Cornbread Mafia understood that Kentucky was the best place to grow cannabis because it sits on the 37th parallel, the same latitude line that runs through the Hindu Kush mountains, where many cannabis strains originated. This means that hemp plants feel right at home in Kentucky.
For decades, no one spoke about the Cornbread Mafia. Those who went to prison as part of it did so because they refused to talk in exchange for a lesser sentence, all 70 of them. Lacking a witness to point the finger at the alleged kingpins, federal prosecutors were reduced to holding a press conference in June 1989, where they laid out their case against these men without giving anyone a chance to defend themselves.
THE CORNBREAD MAFIA BOOK
In 2005, James Higdon, a native of Marion County, Kentucky, began his project to write the true story of the Cornbread Mafia. Higdon’s book, The Cornbread Mafia, was published in hardcover in 2012, in paperback in 2013, and released as a second edition in 2019.
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has been legalized at the federal level, allowing Kentucky to regain its title as the home of the finest hemp on Earth.
Cornbread Hemp embraces all 200 years of Kentucky cannabis history, and has tapped into our state’s rich distilling culture to distinguish our extraction process. Grown exclusively by Kentucky farmers, then distilled for purity. You’ll know when it’s Cornbread.