Papa & Barkley’s main production facility in Eureka. Photo: Andrew Goff


Papa & Barkley is merging with Mammoth Distribution, a distribution company headquartered in Los Angeles. The Eureka-based cannabis company is in the process of consolidating its distribution operations with the Southern California company, though the production side of its facilities is expected to stay local for the foreseeable future.

“The cannabis industry has been very tough for several years now,” Michael Kraft, Papa & Barkley’s Compliance and Government Affairs Officer, told the Outpost in a recent phone interview. “We have been looking at potential merger partners for the last year, and one of the things that was really important to us is that the brand carries on [and] that there be a real emphasis on quality. We wanted good humans and we think we’ve found that with Mammoth.”

Papa & Barkley emerged as a prominent player in the local cannabis wellness sector shortly after the company was founded by Adam Grossman and Guy Rocourt in 2016. The company swelled in the ensuing years and expanded its production facilities to the old Kmart building on Broadway and, in partnership with the folks at Humboldt Social, launched Papa & Barkley Social, a locally curated cannabis dispensary, consumption lounge and spa. However, the dispensary closed a few months back.

Mammoth has been involved in the cannabis industry in one way or another since 1996, according to its website. The company carries eight brands, including Papa & Barkley, and distributes cannabis products to more than 600 retail partners across California, Nevada and New York.

“Papa & Barkley is one of the highest quality and authentic brands in the industry,” Wesley Hein, Mammoth’s Head of Brand Initiatives, told the Outpost. “Our values are completely aligned, and we look forward and are honored to expand and grow what they have built.”

Papa & Barkley has already integrated some of its operations with Mammoth, including dispensary deliveries and sales, according to Kraft. “We closed distribution facilities in Los Angeles and Berkeley over the past few months, and those activities have gone to Mammoth. The only real estate that we sit in is here in Eureka,” he said, referring to Papa & Barkley’s two production facilities. “Now our attention is turning to production.”

Papa & Barkley’s production processes are split between its two Eureka facilities. The cannabis extraction process begins at its Second Street facility where staff make freshly pressed rosin and use coconut oil to extract phytonutrients, terpenes and cannabinoids from locally grown cannabis plants, a process known as lipid infusion. The extracts are used for capsules, tinctures, gummies and patches, or blended with beeswax and essential oils to make salves and balms. The final products are sent over the the Kmart facility where they are packaged for distribution.

Asked whether Papa & Barkley plans to move all of its operations out of Humboldt County as a part of the merger, Kraft said it’s too soon to tell. 

“I wouldn’t say it’s accurate – or at least not yet known – whether we’re entirely pulling out of Humboldt County, but clearly some stuff that we do here now is going to move,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive with our employees and tell them what we know when we know it. … Our vice president of production briefed our employees a little over a week ago and, you know, he told them that we’ll have work for them at least through May 1. Now we know it’s going to be quite a bit beyond that. How far? I don’t know.”

Papa & Barkley currently employs a little less than 40 people, down from about 200 during the company’s heyday. Kraft noted that he probably won’t have a job with the company once the merger is complete, but said he couldn’t speak for the other employees. 

Asked whether Papa & Barkley would continue to source Humboldt-grown cannabis, Kraft said the company would work with Mammoth on product sourcing but offered assurance that the quality of their products would be maintained. “There’s quite a bit of pride in the quality of our products,” he said, recommending the Releaf Balm for anyone with chronic knee problems.

Reached for additional comment on the matter, Humboldt County Economic Development Director Scott Adair said the merger was an “unfortunate” sign of the times.

“Keeping business ownership and employment decisions local is ideal, but we do support mergers when they prevent complete closure and mass layoffs,” Adair wrote in an email to the Outpost. “In some cases, a merger may be the best option to preserve local jobs and livelihoods. The cannabis market has been hit particularly hard and we expect to see more of this type of activity in the future.”

Adair added that the GoHumCo team provides business recovery services and “remains at the ready “to provide rapid response and layoff aversion services to Papa & Barkley and its workers.”