Evelyn Wang spent the past 15 years making her mark on the cosmetics industry with brands like Johnson & Johnson, Estée Lauder and L’Oréal, before diving into the cannabis space as the new CEO of Papa & Barkley.
“I think it was a little bit of self-actualization, a little bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time,” Wang says, noting that she is one of several beauty professionals joining the cannabis industry due to its fast pace and opportunities for unconventional, free-spirited people.
“I feel at home in cannabis. The biggest thing is moving to an industry that is so highly regulated, and the entire additional factor of how you plan out your business and how you contemplate the future,” she says. “On the other hand, it’s still product and we are still trying to create something that resonates with the consumer.”
Wang replaces Adam Grossman as CEO, as the Papa & Barkley founder takes a new role as the company’s executive chairman. She says her first priority is to ensure the THC side of the company continues to succeed in California, while looking at much bigger plans for Papa & Barkley’s CBD products.
“We have talked about Papa & Barkley not only as a cannabis brand, but truly as a wellness brand that can go up as a plant-based alternative to a lot of other products,” Wang says. “We have a mission within 10 years to become a globally recognized, best-in-class cannabis brand, and we’re halfway through that journey.”