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Stoner Owner: Johnny Yu of Johnny Oil Seed

"Cannabis has always heightened my experiences along my journey."

Born and raised in Texas, Johnny Yu is a simple man who enjoys Cannabis, his dogs, cycling, and riding motorcycles. In his 20s, he moved to Seoul, Korea for almost a decade post-university, where he ran a food truck and bar. After seeing an opportunity to own and operate a Cannabis company, he moved to Portland in 2016 and hasn’t looked back since!

“I think riding something, whether it’s cycling or motorcycles, is one of the best ways in seeing another country and exploring possibilities,” says Yu. From India to Myanmar to Korea and now Oregon, learn more about what drives and fuels Yu in this month’s Stoner Owner feature!

How did you first get introduced to Cannabis?

The usual route of junior high school shenanigans. You’re with a couple of friends, and you’re young, and you engage in festivities that normally kids weren’t privy to back then. 

What was it like living in Korea? How did it lead to where you are now?

Korea was great! It was a time of learning and exploration. It opened my eyes to find your path. It showed me to not take things at face value and to try to discover things for myself – like selling tacos carnitas out of a pink taco truck on the streets of Seoul, or cycling across Korea to get to know the motherland a bit more intimately. I think these experiences helped lead me to where I’m at today.

What are some of your biggest motivators to stay focused and productive?

The biggest motivator for me is the reminder that not everybody gets to be in the Cannabis industry. You have countries where it’s still illegal, and the penalties are reflective of this. Oregon is a special place! 

Johnny OilSeed

Why did you want to get involved with the Oregon recreational market?

Cannabis has always heightened my experiences along my journey. And to see the recreational market open up here when I moved back to the states, I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to see if I could start my own Cannabis company. 

Who are some of the individuals that inspired you to own your own Cannabis company?

I would say, my parents. They showed me that you can go anywhere and set up shop, so long as there is an opportunity and a game plan. As my parents were immigrants trying to make a living here in the states, I didn’t realize how hard that was until I was an entrepreneur trying to make things happen in Seoul. To start a business in another country where you didn’t grow up, let alone trying to get a business going in the place that you’re originally from, can be pretty difficult.

Photos by @workdubs

About Max Early

Max Early is the State Director of Oregon Leaf Magazine. In this role, Max looks after/coordinates/manages/leads a team providing insight into all aspects of the cannabis industry, including processing and producing knowledge. Solventless concentrates are a quintessential part of his day-to-day life and help him stay balanced. Cannabis has impacted his existence and many close loved ones in such a positive way that he can't imagine life without it!

This article was originally published in the August 2021 issue of Oregon Leaf.

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