Barry Foy: Making a Difference in a New Legal Cannabis Reality

barry foy sitting in a chair smiling


Once upon a time, decades ago, Barry “Flash” Foy ruled the high seas of America’s underground cannabis trade, leading an infamous marijuana smuggling ring that earned its place in the annals of the country’s clandestine history. The operation boasted an extraordinary scope and expanse, stemming from Foy’s bold and resourceful spirit. 

The supply of weed was delivered straight from the heartlands of Colombia and Jamaica, aggressively pushing past borders and boundaries. The hash, just as unabashedly, found its way over from the exotic nation of Lebanon.

At the helm of this daring crew sailed a band of audacious entrepreneurs hailing from the coastal regions of South Carolina. To rise above the reach of the law, they were prepared to steer through treacherous waters, face regional conflict, and defy the looming threats of incarceration. 

Fueled by their unwavering allegiance to this lucrative trade, their resilience, and determination, they ultimately emerged as a force to be reckoned with.

They were known as the Gentlemen Smugglers.

From 1971 to 1986, these derring-do individuals dominated the East Coast trade, smuggling over 250 tons of cannabis to the folks who wanted it most. These were the glorious days of cannabis, and in essence, they served as both the distributors and dispensaries of their time. 

Their high-risk, high-stake operation ended in an electrifying fashion when they became principal targets of Operation Jackpot, – the First Presidential Sting in Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs.

What Is The Kingpin Statue?

Barry Foy was charged with the federal kingpin statute– U.S. Code §848Continuing Criminal EnterpriseThis statute was created for Al Capone, and carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years to life in prison. Barry ended up serving 11 years of an 18 year prison sentence. Most of his  crew faced similar charges with the smuggling statute – U.S. Code §545 – Smuggling Goods into the United States – and, like Foy, they too, paid the price. Despite their tribulations, they never surrendered their maverick spirit, their belief in the power of the plant, or their sense of humor.

Continuing His Legacy

The Gentlemen Smugglers, our brand, is a monument to a glorious period firmly etched in the sands of time. Their legacy is hailed from an era filled with menace, a time when the marvel of today’s legal cannabis industry was enveloped in a perilous cloak of secrecy. It was a setting peppered with audacious endeavors; this was an epoch where imminent danger was the order of the day, and individuals of ruthless tenacity roamed the industry’s labyrinthine corridors.

In the face of these harsh realities, though, the Gentlemen Smugglers didn’t just survive – they thrived. Drawing on the strength of their unwavering courage, they played by a fresh rule book, one that they had crafted in their own vision. Every rule, every decision was a testament to their audacity, their savvy ability to navigate treacherous waters. 

Guided by a north star only they could see, they banded together, gaining an unrivaled reputation and perpetuating an ethos of zest infused with dauntless determination.

While these times may feel distant in the era of legalized cannabis, their spirit remains very much  alive. This spirit lives on today. The Gentlemen Smugglers have emerged as a tribute to the legends of the past and a guiding beacon for tomorrow’s challengers and champions. It represents the trials and triumphs, the adversities and victories, and a lifetime of tales spun into a legacy that defies the odds and reframes the narrative.

In truth, one can be both a smuggler and a gentleman.

In the new legal cannabis reality we face today, Foy wants to use the platform and success of the GS brand to lend support to other cannabis prisoners

“I think the cannabis business will have some some stops and starts but I think overall, it’s the people’s wish. Now that the people are on board and attitudes have changed, it’s going to be a lot of fun to be on this side of [the industry]. I spent a long time behind bars for the plant and I don’t think anybody should be there, and this is a way for me to help out the brothers and sisters who still are.”

Furthermore, a portion of the company’s proceeds are allocated to help the Last Prisoner Project.

Barry Foy & GS: Harnessing the Power of Legal Cannabis to Orchestrate Meaningful Change

After having gone through numerous trials and tribulations, Barry “Flash” Foy is making his comeback on the legal cannabis stage. His past has shaped him, cultivating wisdom and resilience in him that only time and experience can. And this time, he’s back with a mission that reverberates with the tenets of social equity and progress.

Still carrying the fiery spirit that first led him to dive headfirst into the cannabis trade all those years ago, Barry plans on harnessing the power of legal cannabis to orchestrate meaningful change. However, unlike in the past, the industry he’s now stepping back into is no longer shrouded in shadows and secrecy. The legalization of cannabis has changed the landscape entirely, introducing a new era of possibilities and opportunities.

He now stands at the threshold of this new world, ready to leverage the power of cannabis in a way that will make a real difference. With his return, the story gets a new chapter – with the potent promise of affecting significant impact in this new legal cannabis reality.

Embrace the reformative change in drug policy and become a part of the Gentlemen Smugglers’ voyage in carving out a brighter, more enlightened future for society. Experience a new high with our top-grade cannabis products, and join us as we collectively challenge and reshape perceptions surrounding cannabis.

*The contents of this blog are intended for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.*



With a rich background in accounting and a trail of successful mentees launching their accounting firms, Vanessa is not just a financial expert but the force behind the scenes, ensuring the numbers align for daring endeavors. Juggling the roles of being an accounting professional, mentor, business consultant, and proud DOPE CFO Pro Badge holder, she continues to bring a unique blend of dedication and organizational prowess to her role.

In 2019, Vanessa launched her accounting firm, Butler CFO & Tax, where she’s helped hundreds of firm owners and non-profit organizations scale their businesses.  She has been a driving force helping the Gentlemen Smugglers to stay successful.

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Peter Cardoz

As a passionate cannabis advocate, lifetime food enthusiast and veteran scientist, Peter brings his wealth of knowledge and love for cannabis to the Gentlemen Smugglers team. He started his research career from an early age, eventually conducting research at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, where he become published in Nature Communications.

In 2021, Peter started his own consulting company, Cardoz Blended Gourmet, and a launched a line of gourmet, live resin infused CBD culinary oils.

Cathy O'Hara

Meet Cathy, head of People Operations at Gentlemen Smugglers. Cathy is a former journalist turned Tech Pioneer. As the 35th employee at AirBNB, Cathy helped scale the home-sharing startup into the mega star it is today.

Cathy joins GS with a proven knowledge of recruiting, people leadership, community relationship building, customer service operations, workflow planning and project management. Plus she’s just a cool world traveler.