Randi Smith and Danny Marshall are not your typical “Mom and Pop” business owners and farmers. They have a dog, a flock of chickens, some ducks and a Canada goose they raised after it was dropped by a passing eagle.

But their cash crop is cannabis.

Marshall believes small, local medical marijuana growing operations like his Sunrise County Gardens, located in the Eastport area, are best positioned to serve patients and contribute to the local economy.

“There are a lot of ethics in creating medicine,” said Marshall. “We provide a better product at a lower price.”

The couple is committed to organic farming, producing their own fertilizers with formulas they have perfected over the years.

Sunrise County Gardens charges $200 an ounce, below the average price of $350-$420.  Recognizing the high level of poverty in the region, the couple plans to keep its product affordable.

This in no way reflects quality, they stress. Acadian Kush, a strain developed by Marshall through cross-pollination, took home the top honors at the Compassionate Caregivers of Maine annual meeting. Marshall and Smith are both licensed caregivers and can each provide cannabis for up to five patients.

Coverage of Washington County is supported by a grant from the Eaton Foundation.