Celebrity pitchman harvesting hemp on Vt. farm, filming TV show
A well-known TV personality is producing CBD in Vermont and transforming the small town where he's set up shop.
"I've had a great time the last 20 years doing, 'Hi, Anthony Sullivan here for this,' and for all the TV products I have, but this is right up there," said Anthony Sullivan.
You might recognize Sullivan from infomercials for OxiClean or Turbo Scrub. Now, the celebrity pitchman is working on a new project in Plainfield.
He's built a 116-acre hemp farm and named the business MontKush, an homage to Vermont, its capital city and the CBD product. It's an undertaking inspired by a very personal ordeal. Sullivan's 8-year-old daughter has a rare genetic disorder.
"She had some seizure-like episodes, about two years ago she started to develop them," he said.
Her neurologist prescribed a pharmaceutical drug. Sullivan says it helped with the seizures, but the side effects were devastating.
"She lost 20 percent of her body weight. She has a very vibrant personality for all of her challenges, and she's very, very present and a very happy kid. And she literally just became vacant like she wasn't even there," he said.
That's when Sullivan started searching for alternatives, which led him to a Vermont hemp farm last year.
"I just had a moment of clarity just standing amongst all of these beautiful plants, and I read a lot about CBD and about the benefits of it," said Sullivan.
Benefits he says significantly alleviated Devon's symptoms and brought back her vibrancy.
Sullivan said, "That's when I knew I had to do this."
Knew that he had to help other people like his daughter discover CBD products. So, Sullivan teamed up with his business partner David Christian and launched Montkush. Their product is all CBD, and below 0.3 percent THC, the active chemical in cannabis that gets you high.
A film crew is capturing the whole journey of MontKush for a television show.
"It's a 21st-century gold rush, this green rush, this hemp rush," said Showrunner Steve Jones. "It could actually be the plant that saves the American farmer."
Jones says they're in the process of pitching the show to networks like the Discovery Channel and are toying with the title "Kings of Kush." It's a concept close to his heart, too.
"Billy Mays who was Sully's partner back in Pitchmen, the litany of legal drugs that were in his system was staggering. This might have really helped him, you know. He might still be around," Jones said.
"Every single one of these flowers will go into helping someone in some capacity," Sullivan said.