Trailblazers: Zenbarn Farms on Kickstarting the Revolution and Commitment to Social Impact
Zenbarn Farms Founders Marlena and Noah Fishman talk about the importance of social impact and creating an equitable and sustainable cannabis industry. This article is part of a regular series, Trailblazers, highlighting entrepreneurs entering the legal cannabis space.
Marlena and Noah Fishman, Zenbarn Farms
For Marlena and Noah Fishman of CBD purveyor Zenbarn Farms, the importance of getting this process right can’t be understated. The couple sees their enterprise as a social impact business dedicated to lifting up communities that have historically been excluded.
“If we are going to be successful in this industry, it’s about doing it in an equitable and sustainable way.”
“With the cannabis industry, stepping into it is an opportunity to rectify the wrongdoings of the war on drugs,” Marlena Fishman said. “And we are really very aware of that and passionate about it and knowing that, if we are going to be successful in this industry, it’s about doing it in an equitable and sustainable way.”
The Fishmans ultimately plan to transform their Waterbury property into a “Cannabis Campus” with access to lawyers, experts and educators who can help industry hopefuls with expungement of cannabis offenses, guidance for breaking into the market and training for leadership positions.
“We’re on the verge of a really revolutionary moment, which is something I think I’ve been waiting for my whole life, where it’s an opportunity to make some huge changes.”
“We’re on the verge of a really revolutionary moment, which is something I think I’ve been waiting for my whole life, where it’s an opportunity to make some huge changes,” Noah Fishman said. “It’s a huge responsibility, I think, to be here where we are and I feel like we’ve grown in our understanding of what kind of impact we ourselves can make in embodying that personal responsibility.”
In addition to prioritizing access for BIPOC people, that responsibility includes advocating for the industry-wide use of regenerative agricultural practices, as well as using Zenbarn’s performance venue to support musicians who have long been a fixture of cannabis culture.
“If we’re to take advantage of the true revolutionary opportunity in front of us, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Noah Fishman added, “because we can’t let this become just another pipeline for the status quo of big corporate business.”
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