Gentlemen Smugglers: The Lore Behind the Name – Livin’ the High Life

front of sail boat on the sea

Circa the late 70s, in the heyday of revelry and wild abandon, America found itself blessed with the Gentlemen Smugglers. These entrepreneurial modern-day pirates, sailing the seas of hedonism, seemed to embody everything President Carter lamented in his legendary “Malaise” speech. They became the archetype of an America that was enamored with easy money and the thrill of the chase.  Together they blazed a trail of decadence and excess in their wake.


Everyone Wanted a Taste of That ‘Outlaw Glamor’

Journeying from one beachfront paradise to another, they laid claim to luxury with their fast PORSCHE sportscars and shiny ROLEX watches. Unapologetic in their insatiable appetite for the finer things, the Gentlemen Smugglers typified a lifestyle that left the straight-laced reeling and the daring craving just a taste of that badass outlaw glamor.

Rebelling Towards Legalization

The Gentlemen Smugglers didn’t just traffic in a contraband that now flirts with widespread decriminalization and even full-blown legalization—they also trafficked in dreams. Each successful venture was not merely a transaction but an act of defiance – a bold declaration of freedom amid the gray shadows of bureaucracy.

Their rejection of taxes? Certainly rebellious, yet this too was a statement, a radical proclamation of the independence they so cherished. Why yield to the government’s demands when the thrill of a perfectly executed operation serves as its own powerful reward? The adrenaline-charged exhilaration that arose from these daring escapades was a treasure more potent than any currency — a sensation far richer than any jingle in the pocket.

Their actions were a grand gambit, an audacious wager against the somber, gray-faced systems that sought to chain their unrestrained spirits. Employing a hybrid of street smarts, tactical genius and sheer fearlessness, they scripted a narrative of boundless opportunity, risk-taking, and ambition that was quintessentially American.


A Life of Luxury

But let’s not kid ourselves – Barry “Flash” Foy  and the crew (which also included some daring female smugglers) had an uncanny talent for turning cold, hard cash into pure, molten luxury. It was a beautiful alchemy – the thrill of an incredibly successful smuggling run transforming into the slick sheen of a fur coat, the cashmere embrace of the finest threads, or the audacious weight of solid gold chains.

They celebrated these hard-earned riches in true rockstar style, ordering extravagant feasts and jet-setting on whims; because when you’re a Gentleman Smuggler, the world is your oyster and Paris is just a supersonic Concorde flight away. Sharing drinks and stories with the elite and the extraordinary, they were living legends.


Hangin’ with Jimmy

As we mentioned earlier, from the sun-kissed shores of Miami to the lustrous beaches of the French Riviera, they carved out a route through the world’s most opulent beachfront paradises. Each destination was not merely a stop but an opportunity—a chance to bask in the spoils of their daring ventures, to sip champagne as the surf kissed their feet.

Even Jimmy Buffett himself, the bard of beachside bonfires and hazy, sun-soaked afternoons, couldn’t resist the smuggling siren call:

The singer offered his thoughts on island life and how dope-smuggling in the United States was happening and not so secretly.

‘I was tempted occasionally to get into it,’ Buffett said, ‘because in those days they actually unloaded in the middle of the day down at the shrimp docks,’ he said. 

‘He was told he could make twice what he’d made for the record with a   single run.’ 

When the narcs came to pay Buffett a visit, he claimed he was never a dope dealer. But he did have  a near-death run in with dope dealers one night in 1978 in San Salvador when his sailboat was anchored in a cove. He was sweating out a hangover when a Cigarette boat was coming his way. They needed to use his radar. He agreed if he could drive their ‘go-fast’ boat.

The wild ride over, Jimmy partied with folks on a nearby sailboat in the cove and then decided to sleep in his boat’s dinghy. But his knot didn’t hold and the dinghy drifted out to sea. He woke up and saw nothing but water in every direction. He was lost.

Like a fast traveling bullet, the Cigarette boat appeared next to the dinghy followed by a second boat, the mother ship, loaded with drugs. The drug dealers pointed him in the direction of home but Buffett knew that if he hadn’t met them earlier, he’d have been dead. It was a dangerous encounter and a new, frightening feeling.

Danger aside, when amidst the Gentlemen Smugglers, as the sun dipped below the horizon and the guitars strummed ever louder – their friendship fueled his songs and the exploits of his brethren made their way into the annals of musical history.


Gentlemen Smugglers — Bringin’ the High Life to Today’s Modern Cannabis Market

Stories of the Gentlemen Smugglers live on, echoing their rebellious, unapologetically authentic souls, where the enchanting tales of these high-spirited renegades can be found in a plume of fragrant smoke and the promise of a thrilling adventure just around the corner.

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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.