Going into business with your family can either be your biggest risk or biggest reward—for Dub Bros Co-Founder Barry Walker, we’d certainly say the ladder. What is now one of the largest license holders in California started back in 2009 by two brothers with a passion for creating natural wellness alternatives and a commitment to the individuals who color their LA community. But perhaps the most striking aspect of Barry’s story aside from its success is the uncanny amount of good energy & enthusiasm he brings to the industry. Where most are content just making a quick buck, this individual would rather invest in fostering community and making those around him smile. Between Gobble Gobble Give and Skid Row Christmas, Barry serves as a beautiful reminder that a little positivity can go a long way—and be craploads of fun. Read our interview with him below.
If you were a plant, what plant would you be and why?
You stumped me! I guess I’ve really just never thought about being a plant. If you’re trying to get me to say “pot” I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna get chopped up and smoked in a bong! I’m going to say Giant Fern—they can live up to 100 years, nobody really eats them, usually a tropical setting…YEP! Tropical Fern…final answer.
Describe the ethos of Dub Bros is three words.
WE ARE FAMILY.
What role does experience (life, vocational, etc..) play in your brand philosophy?
I am 22 years sober. Drugs, and the illegal use of them, played a big part in my adolescent and young adult life. For me Pot was a gateway drug, so when my Brother Brent and I discussed the idea of starting a business that grew and sold weed legally, there was a lot of internal conversations I had with myself. Was I a hypocrite? Was I selling out? Brent was very helpful in explaining the medicinal qualities of cannabis and we took very clear actions to make sure we were part of the solution and not part of the problem—that we were helping people that truly needed it. When you stand inside one of our stores, 50% of our patients are senior citizens and that makes me very proud.
One memory that instantly makes you smile?
The birth of my children. Both at home. You just made me smile.
Craft a strain that encapsulates the spirit & feel of oHHo.
Although I am not the brain behind our strains (Brent is our Mastermind), I would say our very popular 80/20 Indica Dominant hybrid Biscotti would be perfect for oHHo. Its a classic with a great bouquet all around.
Why is big pharma detrimental to the wellness sector? How does Dub Bros factor in?
Little Cannabis vs. Big Pharma! Big Pharma is concerned with one thing: “Profits”. Take a look at the opioid crisis in America. It’s shameful. Little Cannabis is quickly becoming ‘Big Cannabis’. Dub Brothers and other cannabis pioneers are flipping the pharmaceutical table. It doesn’t happen overnight, but we are definitely a fly in the Buttermilk. A black van just pulled up outside my house…I’ve said too much…
Your daily wellness ritual?
Fresh Celery Juice—not much but that’s what I got! My wife is a professional dancer & choreographer, so she is dancing and working out all day long. I feel like a bit of a sloth.
How do your commitments to community challenge and shape you not only as a company but as an individual?
We are very proud of our philanthropic efforts. 22 years ago I started Gobble Gobble Give. I fed a few people outside my apartment in Silverlake, California and it made me feel like a hero. Over the last 22 years we have grown it into 21 cities nationwide and we feed over 35,000 homeless men and women on Thanksgiving day—we are the largest ” little” potluck party in the country. The Dub Brothers started Skid Row Christmas, which throws a huge black & white gala for all the cannabis brands in LA. Performances by BReal and Sublime. It’s the Cannabis Party of the year. All proceeds purchase survival supplies like tents, sleeping bags, and solar lighting for the homeless men and women living on the streets of LA.
One quality / ability of cannabis that nothing else in this world does?
I wish I could answer that in one “quality” but I truly believe that cannabis helps so many different people for so many different things. We’ve spent so long as a society outlawing and prohibiting cannabis that there just hasn’t been a fair amount of research conducted. I believe we have just cracked the nut open and will find so many more benefits over the next 20 years, so stay tuned!
Fate or chance?
I believe in both equally, and with a little hard work they can both work together splendidly!