Our Founders

Cofounders of Cornbread Hemp, Jim Higdon (left) & Eric Zipperle (right).

Jim Higdon is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He worked briefly for the New York Times before returning home to write his first book, The Cornbread Mafia. Published in 2012, the Cornbread Mafia tells the story of the biggest domestic marijuana syndicate in American history. He parlayed his book’s success into a journalism career, covering Kentucky for the Washington Post and cannabis policy for POLITICO. While reporting on the Kentucky hemp harvest in 2018, he decided that the industry was missing an authentic CBD brand that represented the full scope of the history of hemp in America, and that did it’s part to repair the damages of cannabis prohibition. Within a few weeks, he partnered with Eric Zipperle to do just that.

Eric Zipperle is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He holds a degree in accounting and a masters of business administration from Bellarmine University. After graduating, he helped launch two successful e-commerce startups including a catering business and a whiskey trail tour company in Nashville, Tennessee. As a basketball player in high school, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that would eventually leave him with chronic daily headaches. Shortly thereafter, he began to use cannabis as a way to cope with the stress of being in pain. It is now Eric’s personal mission to make sure that every human on the plant has access to the natural healing powers of the cannabis plant, no matter what obstacles or stigmas currently stand in their way.