Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s announced the launch of BEN’S BEST BLNZ (B3) — a registered 501c3 cannabis company — thta's approaching the weed biz in an entirely different way: Giving 100% of profits to Black entrepreneurs in the weed space and groups advocating for criminal justice reform. The line of products B3 is launching with is comprised of blended pre-rolls, full-spectrum live resin vapes, and potent flower.
Truly a brand dedicated to justice over profits, the new brand will dedicate 80% of profits to Black cannabis entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. The remaining 20% will funnel into the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and the Last Prisoner Project.
B3 also established a low-interest loan fund for Black, Indigenous, and people of color cannabis entrepreneurs. Both the grant and loan programs will be delivered under a partnership with NuLeaf Project, an Oregon-based, Black-led non-profit organization.
Cohen is also not skimping out on quality. The brand offers craft cannabis with a focus on big terpenes rather than high THC. And the products will be labeled with protest graphics. To accomplish this, B3 collaborated with Eddie Opara from the design firm Pentagram to design a brand identity framework and packaging for BEN’S BEST BLNZ, prominently highlighting Black artists and designers. The goal is to convey the company’s message of activism with typography inspired by protest images.
“I started BEN’S BEST BLNZ because for me and lots of other people today’s pot is just way too strong,” Cohen told High Times. “I mean when I was in college, the pot we were smoking was about 6% THC. Today’s pot averages about 23%."
Cohen continues, “I’m an entrepreneur and saw an opportunity for a business to fill that void in the market. But I’m lucky enough not to need more money, so I decided to incorporate as a non-profit organization whose purpose is to help right the wrongs of the War on Drugs.”
“Why am I in it?” Cohen asks, when we questioned what his motivations are if there are no profits. “There’s lots of people that are motivated by things other than money. Some of us are motivated by justice.”
Cohen launched Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in 1978 with Jerry Greenfield, first as a parlor. Over the years, the brand became involved with various advocacy efforts and introduced ice cream flavors based on Jerry Garcia, Colin Kaepernick, and Phish to name a few.