We want to make the best cannabis we can in our small little grow for Arizonans who want dependable quality. We’ll be transparent, we’ll make mistakes, but in the long run we think we’ll attract like-minded people.
Watching their father battle cancer day after day, watching him feel the effects of the disease and the brutality of powerful opioids on top of it - Aaron and Steven Priestly made a decision. They started growing cannabis for their dad in a small closet, to get him off opioids… to get him medicine, no matter the legal risk, that would make him more himself in his battle.
18 years later, the story continues at Barrio Cannabis Co. Aaron and Steven Priestley, both proud Tucson natives, having been steadfast leaders in the Arizona legacy and legal cannabis markets are now the leaders of Barrio. From its humble beginnings in the closet, as a gesture of love to a father, to today, as a group of hard working individuals, dead set on delivering quality flower grown with meaningful purpose, Barrio hopes to evolve into a trusted name in the Arizona community.
Barrio Cannabis stands out in a crowded market by adhering to time-honored, labor-intensive practices to provide craftsmanship beyond compare. They hand-water and hand-feed their plants, creating the ideal environment for cultivation. Barrio's approach prioritizes quality over quantity, a refreshing perspective in a cannabis industry often dominated by mass production.
Says CEO Justin Morrow, “We know that Barrio is up against it. We have to work harder than everyone else. We have to consistently cultivate great flower and push new genetics. The cannabis industry is elbowing out small batch growers; it’s a battle to get onto dispensary shelves. And frankly, in this David versus Goliath battle, we may lose. But it’s worth it to us to try and see if Arizona still values local brands that give a shit about the flower we produce and the intention behind it. Deep down, we believe the community still wants to support a cannabis company that cares about its employees and the impact they make to this industry.”
There’s no reason that Arizona can’t be viewed as a top tier state for growing flower,” says Morrow, “Absolutely no reason we can’t be in the same league as California - the community just has to demand it.”
The brand is rooted in its Arizona identity, celebrating the local community's stories and heritage. Barrio embraces collaboration with other local Arizona businesses, such as Shop Beer Co., Dilla Libre, Buendia, and Dixxon shirts. Their commitment is resolute: they remain an Arizona cultivation, an Arizona brand, and an Arizona story, serving Arizonans who seek consistent quality and dependability. Barrio isn't concerned about fitting in on a national stage. If anything, they hope their desire to push new limited genetics at premium quality levels resets the bar for how Arizona is viewed nationally. “There’s no reason that Arizona can’t be viewed as a top tier state for growing flower,” says Morrow, “Absolutely no reason we can’t be in the same league as California - the community just has to demand it.”
While the challenges of competing in a rapidly growing industry are evident, Barrio remains steadfast in its commitment to creating an authentic, community-driven, and quality-focused Arizona brand. Says Morrow, “we’re laser-focused on launching and earning the trust of the Arizona community. Frankly, we could use some serious upgrades to our facility, as we’re doing a lot of things the ol’ fashion way, which eats into our cost of production. But success for us should first mean success for our staff. We’re really committed to providing livable wages. There’s a lot of talent in this industry and we’d like to play a role in fostering that talent and providing a future for our team. In a good month, we’ll have 10,000 jars that will drop - that’s it. We want those jars to make an impact, continue to innovate, find cultivars that we love and share them with the community. We have no grand plan other than to do what a lot of companies have forgotten about— deliver consistently, embrace the state we love and be transparent about who we are.”
Barrio Cannabis's immediate goal is to establish trust and a stellar reputation within the community they were raised within and continue to grow in. They aim to invest in equipment that enhances cultivation quality and, in successful months, provide substantial bonuses to their dedicated employees.
With a limited monthly output of just 10,000 jars, Barrio does not release the same strains over and over - instead, you’ll see new cultivars on dispensary shelves, new flavors and very, very limited drops.
Barrio Cannabis, the rising boutique brand in Arizona, has truly delivered a masterpiece with their Capulator x Seed Junky cultivar. The first thing you'll notice is the aroma - a delightful bouquet of earthy and fruity notes that's both inviting and enticing. The nugs are dense and beautifully frosted, a testament to the care that goes into the cultivation process. When it comes to the effects, the Capulator Junky strain doesn't disappoint. It provides a well-balanced high, offering a sense of relaxation without leaving you couch-locked. Whether you're seeking relief from stress or just looking to unwind after a long day, this strain has you covered. In a market distracted by designer names, Barrio focuses to strike a perfect balance between affordability and top-notch product. If you're in Arizona and on the hunt for premium cannabis, look no further - you've found something truly special.
Barrio’s grand plan? Simply to deliver quality, embrace their beloved state, and remain transparent about their identity and company goals.
Barrio is also committed to giving back to the community, with plans to support local non-profits based on the preferences and suggestions of their employees. Their involvement in the Arizona Animal Rescue Mission, a non-profit dedicated to supporting shelter dogs, demonstrates their commitment to bettering local causes they hold near and dear.
Barrio Cannabis is now available at Lunch Box in Sonoita, an establishment they proudly support. Additionally, customers can find their products at Sol Flower dispensaries in Tucson and Phoenix (one of our favorite spots, and longtime Cannabis Cactus partners!), as well as Prime Leaf in Tucson. For those on the hunt for specific limited jars, Barrio keeps their social media channels, such as Instagram and LinkedIn, updated with dispensary drop information.
“We want to make the best cannabis we can in our small little grow for Arizonans who want dependable quality. We’ll be transparent, we’ll make mistakes, but in the long run we think we’ll attract like-minded people. And if not, if Goliath wins because we can’t buy our way onto shelves with reciprocity and the race to the bottom continues— we’ll hold our heads high because it’ll absolutely have been worth the attempt to turn things around. There is dignity in that fight. But to be clear— we don’t think that will happen; there are a lot of great people who appreciate what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. And they want to stand next to us and say, ‘hey there is room for Barrio, there is room for an authentic AZ brand that gives a shit’. So that’s been really uplifting. We’re grateful to Cannabis Cactus for always ensuring the little guys get the time and attention that they deserve,” says Morrow. Barrio Cannabis's story is a testament to the power of community, authenticity, and quality, and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact this homegrown Arizona brand will continue to make in the cannabis industry.