Papa & Barkley CEO Evelyn Wang Talks Heritage, Business

cannabis and CBD wellness products company based in Eureka, Calif. 

When Evelyn Wang was named the CEO of California-based cannabis and CBD wellness company Papa & Barkley in January, she joined the space after 15-plus years of senior management experience in the beauty sector and a lifetime of cultural heritage.

Courtesy of Papa & Barkley | papaandbarkley.comEvelyn Wang was named the CEO of Papa & Barkley in late January, following 15-plus years in the beauty space. 

Born in the subtropical Taiwan capital city of Taipei, Wang emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when she was 18 months old. She earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California and became a U.S. citizen nearly two decades ago.

Wang’s senior management experience came while leading premier beauty brands at L’Oréal and Estée Lauder. Most recently, she served as chief marketing officer for Milani Cosmetics, a leading international color cosmetics brand. Her crossover from beauty to cannabis is pillared by her expertise in building brands as well as her fundamental principles.

With a personal commitment to plant-based medicine, wellness and sustainability, Wang aligns with Papa & Barkley’s core values, said Adam Grossman, who founded the company five years ago after he formulated a homemade cannabis balm with a crockpot in his kitchen that eased his father’s back that had left him bedridden. That balm, in conjunction with other therapies, got “Papa” off hospice and able to return home, he said. “Barkley” is the family’s loyal pit bull.

“The board and I are confident that Evelyn is the right leader to build on our momentum and brand, adding depth to our stellar executive team,” Grossman said in a press release announcing Wang’s appointment to CEO, a position Grossman previously held. Papa & Barkley offers THC products in California and ships CBD products to all 50 states.

Here, Wang talks business in her transition to the cannabis and CBD space, as well as her cultural background as it relates to the space in correlation with Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month.  

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for style, length and clarity.


Tony Lange: What attracted you to Papa & Barkley to take on the CEO role?

Evelyn Wang: I’ve always been very interested in things like plant medicine, wellness and health, and have always personally aligned with those different types of industries. Particularly with cannabis, it was something that I had thought was interesting for a while and thought how amazing it would be to enter an that you can help shape that’s really still in its nascency. So, when I was recruited for Papa & Barkley, I really learned about the brand story and how Adam Grossman, our founder, created this product for his own father. Adam was desperate to find something that could help his father get out of hospice and turned to cannabis as something that could really help him. I just felt that was such a relatable

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