Ken Estes's commitment as a modern day "Medicine Man" has undeniably exceeded even his own expectations. He has fought the good fight for the right to offer his patients a "smart alternative solution" for a healthier lifestyle. Over the last 34 years he has gone through much pain and faced head on, insurmountable odds that most of us will ever know in our lifetime. But through it all, Ken has maintained his dignity and integrity. Together with a relentless passion to never quit, he has come out the other side a winner and a champion among men!
During the early morning hours of May 7, 1958, in the sleepy little farming town of Martinez, California, Kenneth Estes was born. He describes growing up in a small town as, "a great experience with lots of family, good friends and a real sense of community interaction." He was a graduate of Ignacio High School, a good student and a committed athlete, lettering in baseball, basketball and his favorite sport, soccer.
"Life was good throughout the '60s and into the '70s," he said. His future looked bright with college scholarships in hand. All was right with the world.
But just as life will sometimes do, out of nowhere Ken was about to be dealt a brutal blow that would drastically alter his life forever. All those years of hard work and personal bests were about to culminate on June 7, 1976 with his high school graduation.
"This was to be my summer to remember, one like no other!" There was no way he could have known how right he would be, as it was about to become the summer he could never forget. Just one month to the day later, on July 7th, Ken was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident. It left him completely paralyzed from the neck down. In that instant, Ken's life changed and would never be the same again.
For Ken, the next few months and years were a pharmaceutical, drugged blur with moments of clarity. Each time those moments became more and more real.
"Waking up out of a deep sleep, I would do the exact thing every time; I would ever so cautiously look down to the foot of my bed to see if there was a wheel chair there. If the chair was there, then it wasn't just a very bad dream that I wasn't going to wake up from." The system considered Ken a broken person with no social contribution whatsoever. He was written off and placed in a rehab facility, where he was heavily medicated and left to waste away.
After months in a Vallejo, California rehabilitation facility and many unsuccessful attempts at conventional medical treatments, Ken was befriended by a small group of Vietnam vets who willingly started sharing their medical marijuana with him.
The next thing he knew, his appetite had returned and not long after that he started eating real food once again. Ken said, "It was amazing because my new found strength allowed me the ability to focus on my situation and channel all my energies, uninterrupted on healing my mind, body, and soul!"
After years of unwavering determination and hard work, his partial recovery, which was nothing short of miraculous, enabled Ken to leave the rehab facility and into a place of his own. "I was always challenging my physical disabilities constantly by pushing them into possibilities" he told friends, and by the end of the 80's he had enrolled in college at Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay). Upon completion he successfully started operating two hair salons in the cities of Davis and Concord.
In 1993, fate once again stepped into and intervened in Ken's life. But this time it would be impacting his emotional state while honing his abilities in helping make the world a better place. Ken had witnessed an older lady in the Bay Area who was passing out medical marijuana brownies to ill patients. This unselfish gesture was what sparked his call to action and change of career direction. "It was at that point," he said, "that I knew the die had been cast and my course was clearer now than ever before!"
Ken was so emotionally moved and inspired by this woman's quest that he quit his businesses and joined the fight for legalization of Medical Marijuana usage. After working with Dennis Peron and many of the other original activists at the time, Ken decided to open his first Medical Marijuana Collective in Concord, California. Along the way he encountered many legal challenges, including raids. But Ken persevered and continued, eventually introducing many of the most beneficial and potent marijuana strains for medical use available today. His flagship strain, "Grand Daddy Purp" is now known around the world as one of the top strains for pain and many other ailments.
Ken then took his original "Grand Daddy Purp" strain and crossed it back into itself, creating an even more potent and effective medical strain. It is now listed in the Urban Dictionary as "Ken's Grand Daddy Purp". Since the Obama administration decided to back off medical patients and authorized collectives, Ken has been able to "Provide superior products for a healthier lifestyle" to all his patients throughout California.
Today, his clinics in Richmond, Vallejo, San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa and South Lake Tahoe are the exclusive locations offering the only original medical strains available anywhere. Ken has also branded the strain and added many exciting and unique products, with new, superior strains being developed right now. Ken has been delivering the right solutions and peace of mind to medical marijuana patients for the last 15 years.