Papa & Barkley is a cannabis company in California that offers cannabis wellness products in California, and has recently launched the P&B Kitchen line, expanding their topicals, capsules, and tinctures to a line of edible products as well. Additionally, they offer CBD-only wellness products that ship nationwide.
The idea for Papa & Barkley came about after the Founder, Adam Grossman, was desperate to find a way to relieve his father’s debilitating back pain. He asked a friend for some cannabis, borrowed a slow cooker, and created the first version of the now famous Releaf Balm. Adam’s creation helped relieve Papa’s back pain, and got him off hospice, so he shared that first balm with more family and friends who also found it effective.
After this humble beginning, Grossman met Co-founder Guy Rocourt, who helped launch the brand and help it become what it is today.
Guy Rocourt, President and CEO of Papa & Barkley
This past February, Guy Rocourt was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Papa & Barkley. Rocourt has served as Papa & Barkley’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer since 2015. In this new role, Rocourt will lead the company’s expansion into additional THC markets in California and beyond. Rocourt led the development and launch of Papa & Barkley’s best-selling product lines, including Releaf topicals, Releaf Gummies, the Sleep Releaf Collection and Papa’s Select solventless living extracts –which has won the Emerald Cup every year since 2018. Most recently he has helped develop and bring to market the Papa & Barkley kitchen line.
Rocourt is a Haitian-American who is originally from New York City. He joined the military after high school and got an ROTC scholarship to college, all while weathering the “just say no era” part of the war on drugs. During his college years, he lived in a grow house where he cloned cannabis plants and got free bud for his work. Then in the early 1990s, he went into film production after college. One of the first productions he did was with Montell Williams and he then started advocating for cannabis with him. Williams helped Rocourt get networked enough to move to California as his caregiver in 1998, where he first worked for Paramount and then started a “hobby” cannabis grow.
Moving through the early 200s until 2011, Rocurt then worked in the gray area of the cannabis market in California. Around that time, Rocourt noticed the vast increase of e-cigarettes on the market, and then started creating and selling cannabis vape pens. Around 2014-15 is when Rocourt met Grossman, and Papa & Barkley was born. The company officially started up in the summer of 2016 in Eureka, California. Papa was Grossman’s dad and Barkley was his dog, who was always by his side
Rocourt explained, “Adam was soaking flowers in coconut oil and rubbing on his dad’s back and it was profound. It made me reflect on my career. What got us here was things grown in grandma’s garage, and things formulated in grandma’s kitchen, and that’s the challenge. Even though when we started Papa & Barkley, and even now, people didn’t understand that you can have solvent-free, clean, toxin-free cannabis, that is now my full mission. By definition, dispensary means wellness, so why aren’t all the products solventless? The rest of the world is moving to an unrefined, raw world, why can’t cannabis just start there?”
The Journey of Papa & Barkley
As mentioned, the original Papa & Barkley products were created for Grossman’s father who was in hospice. They were so effective that they actually got him out of hospice and he lived for 2 more years. When they brought the product to market, they tried to do the same thing but with hydrocarbon extract. It did not create the same product. The green chlorophyll and plant fats that were in the products made a huge difference in driving through the dermis. When they went back to their original methodology, they started seeing great success well before the adult-use market opened up in California.
“We started creating and selling Papa & Barkley into dispensary networks and it clearly started to get traction, and we started to grow this little sector in dispensaries for wellness. Our products were stronger [and higher quality] and our product line expanded.”
Papa & Barkley now boasts certifications from iGen (certifies products to make sure they do not contain GMO genes and proteins found in common bioengineered crops), Leaping Bunny (certifies that companies are free of animal testing at all stages of product development) and Fair Trade Certified Cacao (certifies product ingredients to ensure safe working conditions, environmental protection and sustainable livelihoods).
Additionally, Papa & Barkley takes corporate social responsibility seriously.
“Corporate social responsibility at Papa & Barkley is not just a word we say, it is a thing we do. I am not here as a token. I have earned this and built this from the ground up. I do wrestle with my investors at times as they have no idea where I came from, and I understand it takes time for folks to get to a certain level. We try to stay diverse at Papa & Barkley and look at other ways to enhance this. We do find People of Color are a little more into cannabis, and it seems like their families see it as an opportunity,” Rocourt said.
The P&B Kitchen
The company has just recently launched the P&B Kitchen line, a variety of high quality edibles that includes solventless hash gummies and rosin chocolates in bold flavors.
“All of our brands are clean, solventless, no chemicals, no additives, no unnatural things, no preservatives, all premium top tier brands. Our mission is to create cannabis products based on science, so the more you know, the closer you are to finding my products. An educated consumer is our best customer. We are big on education and getting consumers hip to truth in cannabis, because that is how we formulate our products,” Rocourt said.
You can learn more about Guy and P&B from his recent interview with Respect my Region: