High Country: From TV pitchman to hemp farmer, Anthony Sullivan changes the channel to CBD
Tapping ‘Survivor’ winner Ethan Zohn as a partner, they star in Vice’s new reality series 'Kings of Kush'
One of TV’s most recognizable voices of late-night infomercial fame (you might remember him as “the OxiClean guy“) has traded hyping household products for his own: CBD.
Anthony “Sully” Sullivan, the British-born, wildly energetic pitchman pushed pause on his 30- year career when his daughter Devon was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder and needed an alternative to prescription medication. Her mother, who holds a PhD in early childhood development, together with Sullivan, started a CBD regimen for Devon at age 8, replacing pills, which they denounce in “robbing Devon of her personality.”
After discovering CBD was effectively managing Devon’s seizures, Sullivan made it his mission to help others. In 2019, with friend and business partner Dave Christian, they purchased a 116-acre farm in Plainfield, Vermont, for the sole purpose of growing hemp to process cannabidiol (CBD) for its medicinal benefits.
Named in honor of its home state and the genetics they grow, Montkush was born, bringing his “Pitchmen” producer Thom Beers (other credits include “Deadliest Catch” and “Ice Road Truckers”) along for the ride to capture their blind foray into cannabis cultivation. Montkush has since received organic certification from both the USDA and Vermont Organic Farmers for its operation.
“Kings of Kush,” a 10-episode Vice TV series, debuted on March 9 and airs on Thursdays.
“(The series) shares our journey and showcases the hard times that we ran through, but also our wins along the way,” said Sullivan, Montkush CEO. “It is as much entertaining as it is educational — there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion about CBD in general, so we try and cover a little bit in each episode to help people understand the simplicity of this product and that it is truly plant-based wellness.”
The latest episode, which premieres on Thursday, April 22 (11:30pm EST / 9:30pm MST), welcomes special guest and 2002 “Survivor” winner Ethan Zohn to the farm. Last year, Sullivan and Christian enlisted Zohn — also a two-time cancer survivor — as a partner and appointed him as Montkush’s chief purpose officer, where he will lead company efforts to educate and support industry initiatives.
“After battling cancer twice, CBD has been part of my daily ritual to feel healthy,” explained Zohn. “For most of my adult life, I’ve been laser-focused on serving others through my foundations (Grassroot Soccer and SafeRoots Foundation) and creating partnerships with health and wellness organizations that help heal the world.”
In celebration of Zohn’s involvement and appearance on “Kings of Kush,” Montkush has teamed up with the Denver-based nonprofit First Descents to donate 100% of the proceeds from online purchases made the same day his episode airs. Founded by professional kayaker Brad Ludden in 2001, First Descents provides outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions in Colorado.
“Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death in young adults. At First Descents, we rely on partners and organizations like Montkush who champion our efforts to help our survivors lead healthy lives,” said First Descents CEO Ryan O’Donoghue. “Our alumni community — now numbering over 10,000 participants — is fortunate to have access to CBD to support ongoing healing.”
Both Sullivan and Zohn have worked with the organization over the years and hope that one day, Devon can experience one of its adventure camps.
“We have continued to defy her odds and do things for Devon that help her move through life and feel like a normal kid. She is now 10 years old, seeing such incredible benefits from CBD and continuing to thrive,” added Sullivan. “I am a huge outdoor athlete having spent most of my adult life participating in cycling, running and swimming — also competing in marathons and triathlons to stay healthy. Nothing makes me happier than being able to swim with my daughter, hold her on the wakeboard or take her horseback riding — it’s amazing how therapeutic it is for her.”
Katie Shapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @bykatieshapiro.