An Open Letter to the Cannabis Industry

BARBARI Brand, Mindfulness, Thoughts

Greetings Barbari Fam! 

As we enter a new year, a new administration, and a new era, we ask ourselves how we, as business owners, are keeping the long-term vision of an equitable and sustainable industry in sight. We’ve grown and learned a lot about ourselves, and this industry over the years and with those learnings we know that we collectively need to be doing better and working together to reach a shared vision of ethics. 

We have crafted an open letter to the industry and published it here so that you, our audience and community can be a part of our journey while also helping to keep us accountable. We’re pledging to implement Environmental, Sustainable, and Governance commitments into our business goals each year, and asking other industry leaders to follow suit. Together we can build towards a shared vision of how businesses within the industry can be both financially successful and serve the community effectively. 

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and for continuing to support ethical companies that build towards a shared vision of the cannabis industry. 

An Open Letter To The Cannabis Industry 

To our friends and colleagues within the greater cannabis community,

As business owners, we carry a responsibility to both our shareholders and the community to build long term value. In order to do this, we must recognize the interdependent relationship between our businesses, industry, and community. Our business decisions today impact the legacy of this industry, health of our planet, and community.    

The realities of climate change are forcing us to address the consequences of our consumption habits, while also creating increased stresses and dangers to our supply chains. COVID-19 exposed the fragility of our healthcare systems and underscored the increased health risks created for minority groups as a result of racist systems we’ve upheld. These risks destabilize our economy and deepen the cracks within our current infrastructures. Capitalism is at the intersection of all of these issues, and in many instances, contributes to the problem. Capitalism, however, can also fuel the development of resources and solutions to solve these issues. With cannabis positioned as a major commodity of the United States, and one of the fastest growing industries to date, why shouldn’t we as industry leaders make these coordinated and collaborative moves to create a more equitable and sustainable industry? With the intent of building a legacy and long-term value for our community and shareholders, the question we should really be asking ourselves is how can we not? 

In an effort to lead by example, we are announcing our commitment to create a system of shared values and accountability within the cannabis industry, and commitment to implementing ESG metrics within our business  goals and objectives. We are calling on you, fellow industry and thought leaders within the cannabis community to join us and commit to similar ESG metrics through social and environmental goals, and to build them into your businesses success metrics as you would financial growth and business health. May this serve as an invitation, a call to action, to join forces and walk the walk of building a forward-thinking  industry anchored around created shared value through a common greater purpose. 

We’ve enclosed below Barbari’s 2020 Transparency Report and ESG goals for 2021, and invite our audience, customers, and community to join us on our progress to fulfilling our greater purpose within the cannabis industry.

Barbari’s 2021 purpose-driven metrics 

At Barbari, our greater purpose is to serve as a flywheel of diversity, equity, and creativity within the cannabis industry. 

We are committed to creating value for our shareholders and community alike. In addition to prioritizing profitability, we’ve created success metrics and partnership goals specifically focused on supporting the growth and sustainability of womxn, BIPOC, and LGBTQIIA+ individuals who wish to create an equitable cannabis industry, and to ensure the long-term success of these communities. As we continue to grow as a business and envision ourselves as a long term player in the cannabis space, we are also taking the necessary steps to reduce our ecofootprint through sustainable packaging, product manufacturing, and marketing materials. 

Community: 5% of our sales go to a rotation of organizations that align with community healing and health including Planned Parenthood, Fierce NYC, Family Preservation Project, Ethel’s Club, The Okra Project, Oregon Handlers Fund, House of GG, LGBTQ Freedom Fund as well as direct contributions to individuals working to serve community health and rebuilding.

Sustainability: By the end of 2021, we pledge to transition 75% of our packaging to compostable, biodegradable, recyclable and/or made from recycled materials. We have already launched our subscription model, which ships our herbal smoking blends in compostable packaging and shipping materials. 

Diversity: We work with mostly BIPOC and LGBTQIIA+ partners on everything from marketing and content to product manufacturing while also sponsoring marijuana handlers to permit BIPOC and LGBTQIIA+ individuals who want to join the cannabis industry. By the end of 2021, it’s our goal to have sponsored 25 BIPOC individuals with their marijuana handlers permit. We pledge to continue prioritizing BIPOC and LGBTQIIA+ partners across our business development, marketing, and product manufacturing initiatives.  

Barbari’s 2020 Transparency Report

Founders: Asian-American & White 

Barbari brand partners, collaborators, vendors, advisers, and investors

  • 76% BIPOC
  • 24% White
  • 71% Womxn & Gender Non-Conforming


Content creators – 

  • Black – 39%
  • Non Black POC – 28%
  • White – 33%

Production – 

  • Black – 25%
  • Non-black POC – 50%
  • White –  25%

Affiliate / Brand Partners – 

  • Black – 21%
  • Non Black POC – 43%
  • White – 36%

Business & Operations – 

  • Black – 15%
  • Non Black POC – 30%
  • White – 55%

Hemp & Cannabis Growers

  • Hemp – 85% woman owned/grown

Sustainable packaging: Currently, 33% of our packaging and shipping materials are considered “eco-friendly” fitting into one or more of the following categories: recyclable, made with recycled materials, compostable, biodegradable, or upcycled. By the end of 2021, we pledge to increase that percentage to 75% of all our shipping and packaging materials will be eco-friendly.

Our shared goal:

We want to join forces with other businesses who believe in using commerce to solve some of today’s most pressing social and environmental issues. By joining us in your public commitments, you agree to share with your audience your greater purpose, goals, and how you plan to support them. We ask that you take these into account for your business planning and long-term strategies. In return, we will be there for you as a community, ally, and a source of accountability for building towards your greater purpose. We can share resources and helpful guides for environmental, social, and governance sustainability. It’s our goal to come together in creating a cannabis industry we can feel truly proud of, and as role-models of what successful, purpose-driven companies can truly accomplish. 

With gratitude, 

Meryl & Valarie

BARBARI Co-founders