Pete Young first grew cannabis on the roof of a friend’s apartment building in his hometown on Long Island, New York when he was fifteen years old. A lifelong passion for marijuana cultivation soon flowered. Young moved to Southern Ontario in the late 1980s, mastered advance growing techniques, and began selling seeds out of the Great Canadian Hemporium, which was soon at the centre of one of the first constitutional challenges to Canada’s cannabis laws. The experience awakened Young to the non-recreational benefits of the plant and led to him co-founding the medical marijuana movement in Ontario.
While growing his London Compassion Society into one of the biggest producers and distributors of illicit medical marijuana in Canada, Young overcame every obstacle a guerilla grower faces, including crop theft, forest fire, police arrest, bankruptcy, home invasion, physical assault and, perhaps most intimidating of all, hungry male deer.
In 2015, Young stepped onto the right side of the law when he co-founded and was named Master Grower at Indiva, a licensed producer of marijuana based in London, Ontario.