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The Story of Doja Pak, Doja Pak’s Ryan Bartholomew transformed an underground weed-sourcing, dealer operation to a globally recognized brand.
When we talk about the expanding legal marketplace—from the influx of big new money to the changing face of the “cannabis executive”—it’s easy to wonder what happened to all of the lifers who paved the way to where we’re at now. Certainly, most of the suits flooding the space right now weren’t here a few years ago, and it’s getting harder and harder to see faces in a world with few in-person events; the gatherings that we do attend are frequently in corporate environments with new and surprising restrictions along with steep taxes that are imposed at seemingly random times.
These past few years have been tumultuous for many of us, but for some, riding California’s the waves from Proposition 215 to Proposition 64 has seemed like a natural evolution. Many of these brands that came out during this era, such as Cookies and Connected, have become household names to consumers far outside of their home territories even while making best efforts to do things the proper and legal way. One of my favorites, and a company on a slightly different path than most others, is the legendary California brand Doja.Pak.
While many brands aim to monetize every step of the cannabis ecosystem, Doja—the brainchild of Ryan Bartholomew, also known as Doja Exclusive—has chosen to stick to the lane it has dominated for so long in the cannabis marketplace, and that’s supplying the best products California has to offer, no matter where they come from. You see, what Bartholomew has built with Doja is the enterprise version of your favorite rock-star dealer—no matter what your tastes or preferences, the Pak has the best available version of it. Dank vapes
“We’ve all been working with the plant our whole lives—since I was 16, probably around ’98 or ’99,” Bartholomew said. “But when the dispensaries started opening up, that’s when I realized like, ‘Okay, I can probably really do something with this. I’m not just selling weed anymore,’ and I tried to really do it. As I got more active in the [Prop.] 215 scene, I started copping more flavors and working with different collectives. Under no name, no brand. People just knew me as Ryan. People just knew that I had good weed.”