In the ’70s and ’80s, Bruce Perlowin bucked the system to bring America cannabis. His fleet of bud-loaded boats passed under the Golden Gate Bridge in a massive operation for which the media labeled him the “King of Pot”. When an informant rolled over on him, he served nine years rather than betray his crew.
Today, Bruce is the “King of Hemp ®” offering premium, smokable hemp flower for the New Era.
Crafted by his eco-conscious organization, “King of Hemp ®” pre-rolls offer a top-shelf CBD experience.
It’s smooth. It’s robust. It’s one of those irresistible smokes you can’t get enough of. King of Hemp® pre-rolls from the King of Hemp® himself. Brought to you as a tribute to the old smugglers of yesteryear who risked their lives many years ago to bring consumers what they wanted – cannabis. Who else could deliver a top shelf CBD experience guaranteed to please? Only the legendary Bruce Perlowin, the CEO of Hemp, Inc.
Bruce, a visionary with a deep desire to improve the world around him, has been helping to build the industrial hemp infrastructure that was non-existent in America until very recently. Everything Bruce has done personally and professionally since he was a child has molded him into the Renaissance man he is today. In fact, Bruce has come full circle as the legalization of medical marijuana took hold due in part to his efforts. We know him now as the King of Hemp® who brings American consumers top quality CBD pre-rolls. But his life is one for the books, especially his journey that led him to who he is today.
Bruce was born in Philadelphia, the city known as the “city of firsts”, five and a half years after World War II. At age of 7, Bruce began shining shoes door-to-door in Miami, Florida. This was the first of many entrepreneurial endeavors Bruce would take part in throughout his life. He was inclined toward entrepreneurship, it was an itch that he would forever scratch. At 8, Bruce started his second business by rummaging through the trash of a neighbor who had thrown away a bunch of costume earrings then set out to resell them to the girls in his neighborhood. As the psychedelic 60’s made its way to Miami, Bruce and many of his Norland Senior High classmates embraced the hippie movement.
“I was unmistakable with my bell bottom jeans, long hair and blue scarf I tied tight on my leg just above my knee. ‘MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR’. Seems like yesterday. I studied reincarnation, karma, dharma, human auras, prana, vegetarianism, yoga and meditation, organic gardening. Dare I mention experiments with marijuana, LSD, magic mushrooms, alternative lifestyles, new music and new ideas? Wild times!
By the age of 23, Bruce had opened up a leather store, an ecology information center, made and sold candles, published an underground newspaper called “The Oracle of Victory” and sold it on street corners, sold organic Shaklee products, picked and sold organic oranges, and owned a tree trimming business called The Tree People. At 24, he opened The Magic Woodsman with his brother Craig to sell finished Redwood Burl tables, clocks and other furniture. They expanded the store to become the third largest natural wood manufacturing company in America at the time.
At this point, Bruce’s side-hustle (selling marijuana) started gaining momentum and soon surpassed his legitimate income. He was flourishing in Florida until the Cocaine Cowboys started running amuck and the increase in law enforcement made it too “hot” to stay in Miami. A warrant was issued for his arrest and his two co-conspirators known as “The Daring and Dashing Smith Brothers” for smuggling Jamaican and Colombian pot.
Bruce decided to move his marijuana smuggling operation to the West Coast in 1978 to get away from the escalating violence in Miami. He knew he would be able to increase profits with less competition; smuggle the marijuana in larger fishing boats instead of the speed boats used in Miami; and decrease additional overhead costs that came from moving the drugs from Miami to San Francisco. He even hired a research firm to analyze the strength of the feds at different ports along the West Coast. The result? A full report concluding that the San Francisco Bay area was open for the taking. And take it he did.
Bruce didn’t just smuggle marijuana, he created an empire called “The Company”, complete with a solid business plan, shrewd investors, and hundreds of loyal employees. It was well-organized and well-structured, much like a Fortune 500 Company with a product that just happened to be illegal. Bruce was decades ahead of his time – a true visionary and pioneer with the acute ability to see patterns and trends in the socioeconomic landscape.
“I expanded my marijuana business in late 1975 and earned my first $100,000 by selling a load of Jamaican marijuana. By 1976, at age 25, I was a multi-millionaire due mostly to the exploding marijuana business in south Florida. I sold marijuana from my friends’ loads, off-loaded associates’ boats and freighters, and brought in my own boatloads and airplane loads. It was the heyday of marijuana with millions of pounds coming into south Florida with virtually no decent law enforcement at that time to stop the flood. Most of my associates also became multi-millionaires during this time.”
In California, Bruce became the largest marijuana smuggler in U.S. west coast history, pioneering a new smuggling route from western Colombia to the San Francisco Bay going under the Golden Gate Bridge to a 1,000 concrete pier he owned in Richmond. The news media dubbed him “The King of Pot”. He grossed over a billion dollars, netting $100 million by the time he was 30 years old. In March of 1983, four and half years after moving to California, Bruce was arrested by FBI agents during a trip to Chicago, Illinois.
The lucrative marijuana career that started with selling nickel bags in high school to having earned $100 million dollars by the time he was 30 – gone. The $3 million dollar mansion on 250 acres in the mountains of northern California – gone. The airplane he bought his wife, for her birthday – gone. The 4,000 square foot house boats (built to conceal his smuggling operation at his pier) – gone. Cash stashed in bank accounts around the world – gone. Everything was taken from him. He was left with nothing except the friendships he still holds near and dear in his heart to this day. His best friends were fellow smugglers who he refused to testify against.
“The media dubbed me ‘The King of Pot’ and for the honor of that title I got to spend 9 years in federal prison. We were a totally non-violent organization, a well-organized hippie band of care-free entrepreneurs in the marijuana smuggling business. Looking back now, it’s amazing that this period of my life was only 15 years from selling my fist nickel bag of marijuana at Norland High School.
We moved around the country, and the world, at what now seems like hyper speed and lived what now seems like 150 years rather than just 15. I’ll tell you – after living that fast-paced life for that long – I actually enjoyed the break and relaxation prison afforded me.”
Bruce spent most of his time in the last two co-ed prisons in America during a time when lawmakers still believed ‘co-correctional’ facilities reduced problems commonly encountered between inmates. His best friends in prison were spies, assassins, terrorists, hijackers, jewel thieves, bank robbers and smugglers. He would walk around the co-ed prison holding hands with his girlfriend, Svetlana Ogorodnikova (a Russian spy) until the end of the day when the men and women had to retreat to their separate units.
From the moment he was arrested, Bruce saw it as an “opportunity of a lifetime” to learn, grow and study. While in prison, he managed to earn five college degrees, made the college’s Dean’s List, President’s List and the National Dean’s List; read over 100 books a year; and taught Kundalini yoga, nutrition and algebra to fellow inmates. He took dozens of courses and classes offered in prison and filled the rest of his time getting in great physical shape.
After being released from prison, he knew he didn’t want to work for anyone who didn’t know about his past. He titled his resume “Ex-Marijuana King Pin Needs Job – An Unusual Resume” and quoted what the newspapers said about him over the years.
Genius Business Acumen
Master Organizational Skills
His Attention to Detail Was Legendary
He Could Teach the CIA How to Run an Operation or a Country
His resume was so bold and unusual that The LA Times published the article Drug Parolee’s Resume Wins Job in Sales (pub. 2/7/1992). That article went viral overnight. CNN, Newsweek, Readers Digest, Harpers and hundreds of other U.S. newspapers and magazines carried the story. Bruce got over 200 job offers, did a couple of radio interviews with an Australian radio station, got offers to be on all the TV talk shows, and even received movie offers for his life story.
After his sales job, Bruce started numerous companies in the barter industry, alternative health care industry, gold mining industry and in telecommunications. Once the CNBC documentary started airing, Bruce received all kinds of feedback from the medical marijuana movement. He and his partner, at the time, decided to take a look at the medical marijuana industry and one thing led to another. They changed the name of their public company to “Medical Marijuana, Inc.” and became the first publicly traded company (stock symbol MJNA) in U.S. history to go into the medical marijuana industry.
He eventually sold MJNA and started Hemp, Inc. in 2009 which was the first publicly traded company (stock symbol HEMP) in the industrial hemp industry. To this day, Bruce serves as its CEO. Today, Hemp, Inc. is a leader in the industrial hemp industry with the most bio-diverse hemp products in the world.
Anyone who knows Bruce can attest he moves a mile a minute and is constantly building and releasing new projects into the world. The King of Hemp®, Bruce Perlowin, is a philanthropist, visionary, and pioneer. He is the leader and embodiment of the Hemp Revolution.
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