Life In Photos: Gallery Of Work By Notorious Ganja Guru Mel Frank


“Still tokin’ after all these years,” cannabis consultant, author, photographer, publisher, grower and breeder Mel Frank (the pseudonym of James J. Goodwin) proudly holds just about every title in the weed world. The multitalented “godfather of marijuana growers” literally wrote the textbook on growing with Marijuana Grower’s Guide, which was labeled the “bible of bud” in a 1978 New York Times review. Frank is the go-to “ganja guru” on California’s newly decriminalized plant, inventing strain staples such as Durban Poison and Afghani1.


Frank gained even greater notoriety for his groundbreaking 2018 photo exhibition, When We Were Criminals, at the M+B Photo space in Hollywood, California. He is infatuated with marijuana cultivation and has documented the process through cool and captivating film photography that “served as the artist’s personal record of guerrilla growers and breeders who collectively helped create the seminal varieties that have come to define today’s marijuana.” 


Today, Frank remains a highly sought after source for all things cannabis and continues photographing, growing and toking from his home. 




Take a look into Frank’s world through these attention-grabbing photographs. His playful yet impactful images of the marijuana movement will send any stoner into a weed frenzy. In addition to documenting the unique traits of different strains, some of Frank’s most important photos in the show creatively capture growers at work while obscuring their faces to protect them.




Follow Mel Frank for more marijuana magic. 


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Author: Valeri Spiwak

Valeri SpiwakBorn and raised by the beach in Southern California, Valeri Spiwak lives and breathes West Coast culture and its surrounding artistic charm. Valeri, with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Minor in French, continuously seeks to explore the beautiful and obscure, and shares her adventures through captivating wordplay, clever writing and skillful copy.

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