Guy Rocourt’s voyage into the cannabis industry is a captivating tale of serendipity and dedication, marked by a transition from filmmaking to the forefront of cannabis advocacy and entrepreneurship.
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As a former assistant director in the film industry, Guy Rocourt’s life took an unforeseen turn when he crossed paths with Montel Williams, a moment that would forever alter his career trajectory.
“I’ve been very lucky with my timing overall; that’s just kind of found me floating through life,” Rocourt stated during an interview with Cannabis Tech.
Initially hired to assist Montel Williams, who was grappling with multiple sclerosis (MS), Guy found himself immersed in medicinal cannabis. “I was going to dispensaries, shopping for Montel, getting to know the scene as it were,” he recalled.
This unexpected connection with Montel ignited a fervent passion within Guy to make medicinal cannabis accessible to those in need. For a decade, he has championed the cause of cannabis legalization, advocating for the plant’s healing properties and potential to alleviate suffering.
Crafting Papa & Barkley
As Guy became increasingly entrenched in the cannabis scene, he embarked on a transformative journey into cannabis cultivation and entrepreneurship. This path ultimately led to the creation of his company, Papa & Barkley, a name synonymous with top-tier cannabis products, particularly those created without solvents.
Throughout his journey, Guy has remained steadfast in his commitment to crafting clean and efficacious healing products, guided by the belief that cannabis can bring relief to those seeking natural remedies.
Guy’s perspective on being an “outlaw” reflects his willingness to challenge the norms and establish boundaries when justice and accessibility are at stake. For Guy, this label signifies his commitment to pushing for greater access to cannabis for medical purposes, even if it means challenging legal and societal conventions.
His journey as an “outlaw” underscores his dedication to cannabis advocacy and the significant role he has played in the industry’s development.
Guy Rocourt – From Outlaw to CEO
In addition to his advocacy work, Rocourt has made significant strides in the realm of cannabis product development. Over time, cannabis products have evolved, transcending traditional methods like ice water hash and lipid infusion to embrace more advanced techniques such as light hydrocarbon extraction for electronic cannabis cigarettes.
Yet, amidst this evolution, Guy has consistently championed the preservation of cannabis’s natural essence. “In any formulation, there are no preservatives, no stabilizers, no other chemicals; it’s as natural as can be,” he said about the products from Papa & Barkley.
Reflecting on the distillation and isolation practices that proliferated in the industry’s early days, Rocourt stated, “I wanted these things; I did not need these things. What got us through prohibition was what was grown in Grandma’s garden and made in Grandma’s kitchen. That’s what real cannabis is.”
This realization led him to prioritize whole-plant formulations, steering clear of chemical additives and preservatives. In doing so, he has carved a niche in the market for clean and natural cannabis products, aligning perfectly with the growing demand for healthier and more authentic alternatives. Guy’s commitment to quality and purity is reflected in every product bearing the Papa & Barkley name.
Guy believes, “It’s all about the quality of that whole plant medicine… whether you’re vaporizing or having a gummy or tincture, how can I get as much of that whole plant in there? That should be what we’re striving for, and that’s what I ended up doing.”
The Changing Legal Landscape
As an industry luminary, Guy Rocourt remains closely attuned to the shifting landscape of cannabis legalization. We spoke about the recent discussions surrounding cannabis rescheduling and its potential implications, including concerns about the involvement of pharmaceutical companies in the industry.
While some fear that big pharma may disrupt the existing cannabis market, Guy Rocourt holds a more optimistic perspective. “I can’t see the race to the bottom, right? So this notion of distillate gummies, or distillate vape pens, and no actual flower, I think, will cause the illicit market to thrive.”
He genuinely believes that the unique nature of the cannabis plant and its deep cultural significance will make it challenging for pharmaceutical giants to replace traditional cannabis products entirely. Guy’s insights suggest that the illicit market and consumer preferences for whole-plant products, particularly flower, will persist, creating a formidable barrier to the pharmaceutical industry’s dominance.
“I can’t imagine pharma getting into flower… It’s just not in their skillset. They really spent your entire industry pushing out the farmer,” he said.
Regarding Public Perception & Stigma
Furthermore, Guy Rocourt offered insights into the evolving public perception of cannabis and the normalization process – acknowledging that public opinion will change rapidly once the stigma surrounding cannabis is removed. However, he cautions that the nation remains divided on various issues beyond cannabis, and addressing this division is essential for achieving full normalization.
Referring to Minnesota’s progressive approach to public consumption, Rocourt stated, “I think that you’ll be able to smoke most places, and it’ll be tolerated. I think we will be able to smoke in public places, using our discretion, and most venues will start to be more cool [with cannabis].”
He explained, “But the actual normalizing of smoking cannabis everywhere; we are kind of there now. Not to put a political spin on it, but the more liberal an area is, the more likely you are to find an open understanding of cannabis use and more venues that tolerate it.”
“In more conservative areas, you’re still a lot of fear and misinformation, and they’re more likely to have a knee-jerk reaction to say, ‘absolutely not,’” he added.
Guy envisions a future where cannabis is embraced in various contexts, including its potential use in the NFL for conditions like CTE and pain management, emphasizing the importance of whole-plant formulations. Additionally, Guy highlights the influence of powerful lobbying groups in shaping cannabis regulations at the federal level, posing potential challenges to the industry’s growth.
A New Chapter in Cannabis Consulting
Guy’s transition from traditional filmmaking to the forefront of the cannabis industry is a testament to his adaptability and dedication to a just cause. Through Papa & Barkley, he continues to shape the industry by prioritizing clean and natural cannabis products, staying true to the plant’s essence.
Guy Rocourt is channeling his passion for cannabis into a new cannabis consulting venture. His motivation is clear: he wants to ensure that other businesses in the industry start on the right foot, armed with the knowledge and guidance needed to thrive.
In his new role, Guy is poised to offer a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in various facets of the cannabis industry. Rocourt brings a diverse skill set that can benefit both established and emerging cannabis businesses.
His journey from filmmaker to cannabis advocate to industry luminary underscores his adaptability and commitment to the cannabis cause, making him a valuable resource for businesses seeking to excel in the cannabis market. Now, the transition from CEO to consultant signifies his dedication to fostering the growth of the cannabis industry as a whole, helping companies navigate the complex landscape, and ensuring the industry’s continued evolution towards cleaner and more natural products.
Connect with Guy Rocourt
Learn more about Guy Rocourt here.
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