#289 From Inmate to Advocate: A Journey of Reform and Redemption


From Inmate to Innovator: A Story of Prison Reform, Redemption & Advocacy

Chris Martin, a former semi-pro baseball player from Virginia who was raised in Kansas, not only infuses for a living but also to keep on living, due to his struggle with Chron’s disease. As the founder of Hempful Farms, Martin is a dedicated family man with five children, including three grown kids, who is determined to end Prohibition by promoting the healing power of hemp to the world.

As a 26-year chef, Martin has owned and operated ten restaurants, four of which he co-owned. In 2009, he founded Zonka Bars but encountered legal issues due to unclear medical marijuana laws. This prompted him to shift his focus from product-only to opening a sit-down restaurant.

Martin’s exceptional culinary skills and diagnosis of Chron’s disease inspired him to establish Hempful Farms Cafe in 2014, with the goal of introducing more people to the healing potential of cannabinoid-infused food.

Due to Martin’s imprisonment, his family was forced to close the cafe and relocate the Hempful Farms production facility and retail store to north Phoenix in 2017. Quickly becoming one of the most prominent producers and processors of hemp-derived CBD, Martin currently offers over 50 items and has established multiple brands, including Weedless, Paw Puddy, and OG Zonka Farms.

With an incredible history of so many obstacles and barriers, along with a stint in prison – Chris has been on a mission to kick up the conversation regarding prison reform to higher, more practical, conversations centered around the lack of training programs for inmates as they are released, and in many occasions, because of the lack of skills to re-enter society in a productive manner.

We are honored to highlight The Chris Martin Story and discuss how industries & business sectors, including the automotive industry, need to take a closer look at giving opportunities to inmates that are being released with an effective training program and productive future for all sides of the table. 

Conversations on Criminal Justice

As an added bonus political consultant Brian Fox of AZ Valley Consulting stops by the studio to discuss the upcoming panel discussion for an in-depth look at how homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health are criminalized, policed, and handled within Arizona’s correctional and re-entry systems of to which many legislators will be in house to discuss solutions.

Chris Martin Book : The Chris Martin Story

Visit Hempful Farms 

Panel Discussion Details 




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