Ben & Jerry's Founder Launches Cannabis Non-Profit

With Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s non-profit cannabis venture, cannabis just got properly political.

by Dessy Pavlova · May 29, 2023

Ben Cohen and his partner Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s have always been avid supporters of social justice and drug policy reform. Way back in 2015, the team spoke about the potential of cannabis-flavored ice cream, but considering the fact that Ben & Jerry’s has been owned by Unilever since 2000, the brand is no longer in this duo’s hands.

Maybe that’s exactly why B3 – Ben’s Best Blenz – was created. A not-for-profit cannabis company, its business plan is unlike most in the highly competitive, rapidly expanding cannabis space.

Half-Baked: Cannabis without Justice

Ben & Jerry’s has been supporting social justice reform in various ways over the years. Last year, Ben & Jerry’s made waves in the cannabis industry with their social justice campaign released on 420, encouraging cannabis consumers to bring cannabis social justice issues directly to the senate. In 2019, Ben & Jerry’s released a statement on incorporating a CBD-infused pint into their ice cream offerings. In 2018, they changed the name of their New York Super Fudge Chunk to “Pecan Resist” as a way to protest and raise awareness about Trump’s policies. In 2016, they posted support for Black Lives Matter on their website, and released an “Empower-MINT” flavor to promote voting rights. In 2009, Chubby Hubby became “Hubby Hubby” to celebrate same-sex marriage in Vermont. It’s no wonder that Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s has taken an extra step to help change how we look at the cannabis industry – with a side of criminal justice reform.

Ben’s Blenz Gives Back

Ben Cohen’s latest business model follows the same trajectory that Ben & Jerry’s has over the years – focusing on giving back. Unlike any other cannabis company in the industry, 80% of profits will help finance Black cannabis entrepreneurs, and another 20% will be divided between the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and the Last Prisoner Project. Taking craft cannabis to a whole new level, the brand will not only be donating 100% of their profits, but even the brand elements and graphics highlight Black artists and designers.

Interestingly, instead of following the usual cannabis company path – high THC in improved formulations – B3 is for the most part keeping THC low and focusing on taste. Blended SloSmokes are cannabis flower salads with moderate-THC levels and high terpene content: “It’s the terpenes that make the Music,” as it says on their websites. Full Spectrum Live Resin Vapes are also terpene-rich cartridges and pens extracted from fresh frozen whole plants. HiTest Buds are very special high THC single strain limited edition offerings – and the text on the packaging is focused on getting pot off the Schedule 1 drug list. The best part of B3 is that it focuses on highlighting not only the problems in the cannabis industry and how to fix them, but the victories too– their home state Vermont just outlawed plastic cannabis packaging.