Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has launched a nonprofit cannabis brand Ben's Best Blnz or B3, where proceeds will be used for social benefit.
80% of the company’s profits will be administered in partnership with NuProject as grants to Black cannabis entrepreneurs. Another 10% will go to the Last Prisoner Project, and 10% will be donated to the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance.
B3's mission is to “sell Great Pot and use the power of business to Right the Wrongs of the War on Drugs.”
“Schedule 1 is the whole root of the war on drugs,” Cohen says of Nixon’s campaign that disproportionately targeted Black people and informed the country’s current issue of mass incarceration.
Cohen added, “Schedule 1 is supposed to be for drugs that have no medical value and have a high risk of addiction, which does not apply to pot, but it does apply to beer.”
Cohen worked with Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and Jack Collins to design the brand’s visual identity, which includes packaging, website, and merchandise. The brand is vibrantly designed and transparent in its celebration of Black designers and vendors, who are also listed on B3’s website.
The brand’s packaging spotlights the work of Dana Robinson, whose Ebony Reprinted series recontextualizes 1950s and ’60s ads from the magazine by smearing and layering paint into monoprints. “I remember as a child in Britain, my cousin used to bring Ebony to my house, and this is the only time I would see Black people in adverts,” Opara says.
There's no doubt this brand will take off and hopefully help persuade the cannabis industry to include social equity programs as a necessary component of business!
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