Papa & Barkley, maker of cannabis-infused products such as balms, tinctures, and patches, seems like a throwback to a simpler time, but hopefully will be an example of more things to come in the cannabis industry. Papa & Barkley’s roots were formed due to the love of family, as their website describes:
Our Releaf line was inspired by a son’s mission to ease his elderly father’s immobilizing back pain, a condition that forced the family to place “Papa” in hospice. The original balm formulated in our founder’s kitchen eased his father’s pain and, in conjunction with other therapies, got Papa off hospice and able to return home.
As detailed in Forbes, P&B has helped revitalize the local economy of Eureka, California, by creating jobs in its own processing plant, the top manufacturing employer in the city, and sourcing its cannabis from local Humboldt County farmers:
The factory features a seamless mix of human and machinery. In one corner, two young adults work in tandem, harnessing their OCD to perfectly align small plastic squares on a baking tray with a pair of tweezers. Next, 3D printing technology ensures a precision dose of THC squirts onto each of the little pieces of plastic. The tray then goes into a laminator and creates Papa and Barkley transdermal pain Releaf Patches. Other employees slide the finished plates into a catering dolly and transport them to the packaging area. Elsewhere, attractive hipsters are hand labeling jars of balm; Ice Hash is cooling; peppermint is squirting into an assembly line of salves, and cannabis trim is bubbling in a cauldron.
Regarding revenue, there were some bumps in the road for the company, mainly due to regulatory changes. Otherwise, Grossman reports his company is steadily growing at a monthly median rate of 15%. The legalization movement and flux in compliance regulations has put many small cannabis farms in jeopardy. As mega-growers are starting to take over the industry, legacy small farmers are getting shut out. Generational farmers are getting pushed out by compliance issues, compounded by the devastating forest fires that have raged uncontrollably in Northern California.
When businesses like Papa and Barkley source their cannabis from the smaller, local estate-grown cannabis farms including Sunrise Mountain, it helps to keep them afloat and operational. The relationship between Papa and Barkley execs Grossman, Guy Rocourt – Grossman’s partner andextraction wizard, Highland and Sunrise Mountain’s owners, married couple Lorelie and Dave Sandomeno, is a symbiotic one, based on genuine friendship and good vibes.
As noted by Forbes, Papa & Barkley continues to grow and is looking to expand a CBD-only line into other states. It would be great to see consumers reward companies like P&B who stay true to their mom-and-pop roots even as they grow and succeed. Of course, we need to keep working hard to ensure that regulations don’t overburden small businesses out of existence completely. Once mom-and-pops survive the regulatory gauntlet, let’s promote and lift up such companies and make their survival and success a trend, and not just a footnote of a bygone era.
Learn the latest about the local and international cannabis industry while networking with top investors and entrepreneurs at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, California, this February 7th-8th, 2019. The ICBC awarded a $10,000 prize to a deserving Oregon mom-and-pop in Portland last month. Stay tuned for future ICBC Mom and Pop Pitch news in the near future. Get your tickets for ICBC San Francisco by January 18th, to save on early-bird tickets.