Tyler Baker sat down to chat with fellow Ohio medical marijuana patient Justin Matherly, who also happens to be one of the state’s top cannabis growers. Tyler and Justin talked about Matherly’s various positions within the industry, what’s next for him, and his views on life and legalization.
Justin and I decided it would be best to medicate before the interview, so he pulled out some amazing Blueberry Muffin Hash and I pulled out my Mighty+ of course and packed up some tasty Wedding Cake.
Justin was born and raised in West Virginia. As a boy, he began his cultivation journey by helping his grandparents grow in their vegetable garden, learning the basics of farming at a very young age. He attended Parkersburg South High School and found a home at Glenville State University, where he was a basketball standout with his 6’8″ stature.
Justin is a family man. He is married and has two boys and a girl. Being from West Virginia he considers himself a country boy, so he enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, and of course, growing fire weed. Another hobby of his is pressing rosin on his personal press. He let me check it out. This was the first rosin press I’ve seen up close, and it was amazing!
Justin’s Career in Cannabis
Matherly’s first position here in the state of Ohio was the Cultivation Manager of Level 2 cultivator Agri-Med (aka Meigs County). Offered a Level 1 Director of Cultivation position, he decided to take his talent to Dayton, Ohio in late 2020 and contributed to Certified Cultivators‘ early success. Justin has had a vast amount of experience in just a few years working for Agri-Med, Certified Cultivators, and his current position at Ascension Biomedical. Matherly said that to this day the medicine they are putting out at Certified is fantastic. He was proud to have left his mark there and proud that they have stayed amongst the best brands in this state. Ascension Biomedical reached out to Matherly when they heard he moved. He has revamped their operation and introduced some new genetics, so be sure to look out for their products.
Justin recently announced he will be moving again, this time to Cincinnati. He’s joining a Level 1 cultivator out of Cincinnati, King City Gardens, as Head of Operations.
Matherly is Patient first, Grower second
Being a patient, I had to find out what kind of cannabis Justin enjoys and to no surprise he is a big concentrate lover! I have really grown to love concentrates because of the way it can take me from 0 to 100 with just one hit. Using a Puffco Peak Pro, Justin said he is all about those terps! As far as flower goes, he loves a strain called Southside Legend. It was a strain that he created by breeding two other strains, Aoki’s Walk and Ice Cream Zundae. I have had it multiple times and am a big lover of it as well. It is heavy in myrcene so it’s very relaxing a full-bodied high.
Matherly has grown several strains besides with Southside Legend, including Cherry Mintz, Arnie Palmer, and SLT. He has grown lots of different genetics throughout more than 20 years growing. Among his favorites are Seed Junky, Exotic Genetix, Jungle Boys, and Capulator. He told me something that made my jaw drop: He once grew a White Tahoe Cookies Cut that yielded 7.5 pounds from just 1 plant! Hearing things like that really make me want to learn to grow someday.
Cookies-style strains have always been Matherly’s favorite kind of strains to grow. The vibrant colors, lots of frost, and “terps that punch you in the face” are what he loves most about them. (Incidentally, he was wearing a Cookies hat at the time.)
Justin tried cannabis for the first time over 21 years ago. “I knew as soon as I had that experience, I wanted to learn how to grow the best,” he said. “I think we all as cannabis users have that moment when you make the first connection with your inner high and you knew this was something you wanted to do for the rest of your life. Cannabis is a great medicine, and it brings people together in so many ways.” When asked what motivates him to work so hard, he replied, “My family and the fact that I absolutely believe in and love what I do. I can’t picture myself doing anything else the rest of my life.”
What Does the Future Hold for Matherly?
Justin has high hopes (pun intended) of cannabis becoming fully legal here in Ohio within the next two years. He predicts that Ohio will become a premier cannabis hotspot and hopes that the federal government will reschedule cannabis and let cannabis offenders out of jail. It’s great to see someone that’s passionate about cannabis and they are doing important work in the industry.
As Matherly looks forward to joining King City Gardens, he is very excited about the medical market here in Ohio. “It has steadily improved, but still has a way to go,” he said. “I think once these other dispensaries open and the growers are pushing out the amount of product needed, the state will be in a great place.”
Thanks so much for your time, Justin. I wish you the best.