EVIDENCE, a new cannabis brand operating and running in the abandoned building of a private prison, just launched with the help of Damian Marley, Nabil Elderkin, Berner and other celebs and industry movers and shakers. The result is a cannabis company unlike any other.
EVIDENCE took off just in time for Juneteenth and the 50th anniversary of the War on Drugs with a special collab between Marley and Nabil Elderkin, creative director of EVIDENCE. Elderkin is known for directing music videos for artists like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Frank OCean, John Legend and Berner himself, and now, he’s released a special video for the new brand.
The video was also produced by co-founder Dan Dalton, who is known as an activist and manager in the music community. The film sums up the message of EVIDENCE, which is all about social justice. They make a major point with their police-style evidence bags to package cannabis. This presents users with a hard-to-ignore metaphor for the War on Drugs and the plight people of color still face on a regular basis.
The bags are not just a metaphor, but also a very real message. In order to help with the estimated 40,000 prisoners still serving time due to cannabis prohibition in the U.S., $1 from every sale EVIDENCE makes goes to the Last Prisoner Project to help with reform.
Taking the metaphor even further, EVIDENCE operates out of a former high security, private prison in California.
Co-Founder Casey Dalton said, “We grow weed at a prison to get people out of prison for growing weed.”
“Evidence and Last Prisoner Project both stand for a very honorable cause,” added Damian Marley. “With Last Prisoner Project, through the work that they’re doing in trying to get people who are incarcerated for cannabis out of jail, and Evidence through being a brand that is helping to support that same movement. To me, it was a victory to be able to turn a facility that was once a place of despair, doom and gloom, into something that is now a place of joy and healing. We are proud to be a part of that.”
EVIDENCE with a Mission
EVIDENCE was started by parent company Ocean Grown Extracts. The parent company is woman- and family-run and always has a focus on social justice. Casey, Dan and Kelly Dalton, who run the company, have a mission to raise money to fight against racial inequities.
To make this point, the company officially opened up in an abandoned prison and decided to lean into the police-state imagery in their branding. They also made it a point to staff the company with security personnel including staff from the former prison. Now, the same team that used to oversee the prison gets paid for watching over and protecting a legal cannabis grow.
Additionally, EVIDENCE has made a positive impact on the local economy of Coalinga, California. The company has created over 100 jobs during their first year, which included the hiring of security personnel, some of whom used to guard the prison back when it held inmates. In a positive turn of events, these employees are now guarding cannabis plants instead of incarcerated people.
And Ocean Grown continues to strive to reach new achievements in the industry. It just landed the first outdoor grow license in Fresno County, an area that will be incredibly lucrative for the industry. They plan to open a store and consumption lounge in Coalinga for road trippers traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back again.
While they are known for their achievements and attention to quality, the main commitment of Ocean Grown and their new, curated cannabis company EVIDENCE is to support those incarcerated during the war on drugs and bring justice to the newly emerging industry. Hopefully, with brands like EVIDENCE in charge, the industry will have an even brighter and more equitable future.