Craig Gross, an entrepreneur, adult pastor and founder of XXXChurch.com, recently announced that his brand, Christian Cannabis, launched a line of CBD-rich cannabis products on January 27.
The brand will offer high CBD, low THC strains developed for Christian cannabis consumers while educating them about the plant and its medicinal benefits, as well as sharing how they can use it spiritually, too. “Christian Cannabis wants to shine a light on a topic Christians are avoiding—their cannabis use—and invite them to explore it without fear, shame, or judgment,” the press announcement states.
Craig (not to be confused with Craig X, a separate cannabis-friendly pastor) believes that aside from the emotional and physical effects, there is potential to tap into a spiritual connection with cannabis as well.
“There is, without a doubt, a spiritual side to plant medicine,” said Craig Gross. “There are long-held stigmas and doubts regarding its use, especially in the Christian community, and it’s preventing spiritual growth. It’s time we acknowledge that God created plant medicine and Christians should have access to quality, safety, cannabis products made just for them.”
Craig’s wife and Christian Cannabis Co-founder Jeanette Gross also released a statement, explaining that cannabis wasn’t on her radar until she was diagnosed with cancer. “I was faced with one of the most difficult situations of my life—trust plant medicine, which I always thought would alter my mind and make me feel out of touch with reality, or pharmaceutical drugs I knew would?” said Jeanette Gross, co-founder of Christian Cannabis. “I turned to cannabis and not only did it relieve my physical pain, it helped me open up spirituality. It provided me a way of coping with the depression, anxiety, and waves of emotions that accompany being diagnosed with cancer and it was key to my recovery after.”
Christian Cannabis, the logo of which features a dove carrying a cannabis leaf while in flight, will offer pre-rolls, as well as a cream, patch, balm, topical spray, oil, tincture and fruit chews. These products reportedly include biblical ingredients, such as frankincense and myrrh.
Craig announced the Christian Cannabis brand launch back in April 2019 at Coachella—the same year that both the religious holiday of Easter and 420 fell on the same day. In a YouTube video made for the launch, he described his goals for the project. “My hope is to encourage people who follow Jesus and open our eyes to some misunderstandings that we have about this controversial plant,” he said in the video.
In a June 2019 interview with DOPE Magazine, he went into great detail regarding his inspirations behind the idea, how he discovered cannabis later in life at 37 years old, his approach to the subject of sex addiction with XXXChurch.com, and the ongoing stigma that affects Christians and cannabis consumption. “For cannabis—the very first time I [consumed] was in 2013, and I wanted to talk about it. Everyone’s like, ‘Craig, if you talk about this now, you’ll lose everything you’ve built, and it’s not time,’” he shared.
“I came to cannabis in 2013 because it was the worst year of my life. I’m healthy, I’ve never broken a bone in my body, and [in 2013 I am sitting] in a situation where my dad had died, my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cysts, I didn’t know if I was grieving or not and I didn’t know how to deal with death. Then I started getting headaches, and then I start chasing doctors, and they just keep handing me more prescriptions,” Craig said. He admits that he skipped church one day to watch CNN’s Weed documentary in 2013, featuring Sanjay Gupta.
More recently, Craig spoke with the New York Times in December 2021 about the psychedelic retreats he put together in Northern California. During the pandemic, he shared that he and his family lived at a psychedelic retreat called “Rainbow Ridge” in Santa Cruz (valued at $1.3 million), where he was “offering 30 psilocybin retreats for a handful pf people at a time,” and he never charged participants. He and his family helped renovate Rainbow Ridge and have since moved. Craig has gone on to create Creating Fun, an artist incubator where he is working on various projects with his extended Rainbow Ridge family.
Christian Cannabis products are projected to release sometime in California and “additional states” in 2022, with plans to develop a CBD-only line that will eventually be available nationwide.