Industry forecasters predict that 2022 will be the year that’ll help kill the stigma surrounding cannabis. Perhaps that’s a stretch, but social use of cannabis is trending upwards, and the market is expanding. People of all backgrounds are starting to comprehend the benefits of cannabis, whether the state’s economic gains that return to local communities or the medical effects that help patients with terminal illnesses.
Craig Gross’s approach to providing unconventional spiritual guidance through Christianity has made him somewhat a fringe leader. However, as the founder of XXXchurch.com, a website launched to help people fight sex addictions, he’s used Christianity to help others who are fighting their battles alone. However, he’s now using his platform to bring awareness to another topic that some Christians might find taboo — cannabis. On Jan. 27th, Gross announced that he’d launched a line of CBD-focused products under the brand Christian Cannabis, per High Times.
Christian Cannabis aims to provide low-THC, high-CBD products to break the stigma of marijuana consumption. Gross explained that the line intends to provide a point of exploration into the world of cannabis for Christians and highlight its medicinal benefits. More importantly, Gross wants to emphasize the spiritual importance of cannabis for the Christian community, who he says often look down on the plant.
Gross said that he stands by the spiritual benefits of cannabis, which he believes is being hindered by the ongoing stigmatization of marijuana. As a man of God, he said it’s a plant brought to Earth from a higher power as medicine. “Christians should have access to quality, safety, cannabis products made just for them,” he said in a statement.
Gross is like many who’ve witnessed the medicinal benefits of cannabis first-hand. Gross’ wife, Jeanette Gross, co-founded Christian Cannabis with Craig. She explained how she never really considered marijuana as anything more than a controlled substance. However, following the news she was diagnosed with cancer, her world opened up to the plant’s advantages. Not just as a patient suffering from a terminal illness but the mental and spiritual effects that provided her strength during one of the most trying times of her life.
“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?” she stated in a press release in a statement.
She added that it provided her an effective relief for her pain and a coping mechanism for “the depression, anxiety, and waves of emotions that accompany being diagnosed with cancer.” She said it was even more crucial to her recovery process afterward.
The benefits of cannabis hit close to home for Craig and Jeanette Gross, and they’re trying to help open the dialogue in the Christian community even further with Christian Cannabis. Currently, the brand sells pre-rolls, oils, tinctures, topical spray, cream, patches, and infused fruit chews.
The company’s logo certainly lives up to its name. It includes an image of a dove carrying a cannabis leaf and reportedly contains ingredients commonly mentioned in the bible, like myrrh and frankincense. Products launched on Jan. 27th and will be heading to California and other states in 2022. Expect to see the cannabis leaf-holding dove on kraft pouches at a local dispensary near you.
Gross’ new brand didn’t appear out of thin air. He previously announced plans to launch Christian Cannabis at Coachella in April 2019 — the same year 4/20 and Easter Sunday fell on the same day. At the time, he explained that he wanted to bring a change of heart to people who follow Jesus and buy into the misunderstandings of cannabis with educational resources.
Cannabis remains a controversial topic, but Gross believes it’s a battle that is worth fighting, even if it seemed like it could’ve shattered everything he’s worked for in his career. In an interview with Dope Magazine in 2019, he explained that he only consumed cannabis for the first time at 37-years-old in 2013. And as much as Craig wanted to talk about it, the XXXchurch.com founder continuously faced pushback from people who believed there was a high risk that it would negatively impact his reputation. However, he, too, was facing a difficult time in his personal life. His wife was diagnosed with ovarian cysts when his father passed away. The mental strain turned into headaches which doctors would address with prescription medication. However, after skipping Sunday church to watch Sanjay Gupta’s documentary on cannabis for CNN, he was enlightened about the truth behind cannabis.
Speaking with the New York Times in December 2021, Craig also revealed that he also hosts psychedelic retreats in Northern California during the pandemic. Titled the “Rainbow Ridge,” Craig said the retreat was “offering 30 psilocybin retreats for a handful of people at a time” without charge. As more curiosity into the therapeutic effects of psychedelic substances, perhaps, Craig’s already ahead of the curve on this subject, as well.