The legal cannabis industry is growing rapidly. It’s predicted that U.S. medical and recreational cannabis sales could reach $33 billion by the end of 2022, according to data from MJBizDaily.
But while white business owners make ludicrous amounts of money from their ventures, Black entrepreneurs still suffer the effects of the War on Drugs and struggle for support. In an industry plagued by prohibition, it’s more important than ever that consumers step up and put their money where their mouths are.
By shopping from Black-owned cannabis retailers, you can help say “no” to big corporations and yes to entrepreneurs who deserve support in this space. From coast-to-coast, these Black-owned cannabis retailers are reshaping social equity and taking the industry by storm.
1. Sixty-Four & Hope – Los Angeles, CA
Sixty Four & Hope is a multi-location wellness-focused cannabis store known for stocking top-of-the-line products, hosting immersive sensory events, and elevating local voices. Named after Proposition 64, which legalized adult-use cannabis in California, Sixty Four & Hope was developed by an investment startup striving to provide economic opportunities to those affected by cannabis prohibition.
The first Sixty Four & Hope location launched in south Los Angeles in September 2021 under the ownership of Aja Allen. Allen is one of 21 social equity licensees sponsored by 4thMVMT – an investment startup providing Black and brown entrepreneurs free business and management training, assistance with securing storefronts, licensing, and investment. Backed by big-time investors like Queen Latifah, Nas, and Troy Carter, Sixty Four & Hope plans to expand rapidly, with a goal of opening all 21 locations by summer 2023.
2. The Green Lady Dispensary — Nantucket, MA
The Green Lady Dispensary is the first women and minority-owned cannabis retailer to open in Massachusetts. Serving medical and adult use, The Green Lady Dispensary is vertically-integrated with all operations, from growth to sale, happening in-house. They are home to a state-of-the-art cultivation facility, extraction lab, and commercial kitchen. They even do all product testing in-house.
Owner and Chief Operating Officer Nicole Campbell launched The Green Lady into the state’s adult-use cannabis market in August 2019 and first operated on an appointment-only basis. They pride themselves on offering the highest-quality, most-exclusive products in the area.
3. Farmacy – Santa Barbara, Santa Ana, and Berkeley, CA
Co-founded in partnership with Glass House Group, the Farmacy started as cannabis legend Sue Taylor’s vision for a community-based dispensary and has since grown into a multi-location empire. Today, The Farmacy accounts for multiple locations across California and prides itself on providing for the senior community, with many products specific to such under Taylor’s insight.
The Farmacy hosts entertaining and educational events for new and experienced cannabis consumers to enjoy, including the upcoming “Buds and Boos” festival and Senior Health Fair. Farmacy Santa Ana also recently relaunched their monthly senior shuttle after a break due to Covid-19. The world-famous Senior Shuttle started in 2017 and offers free rides and education to seniors from Laguna Woods and Freedom Village.
4. Pure Oasis — Boston, MA
Longtime friends Kobie Evans and Kevin Heart founded Pure Oasis in 2019. Known as the first recreational cannabis dispensary in Boston, Pure Oasis carries many new and vetted cannabis products and prides itself on giving adult consumers accurate information to help them make the best choices for their individual needs.
Besides being the first adult-use cannabis retailer in Boston, Evans and Heart are the first applicants to benefit from Boston’s social equity program and the state’s Office of Economic Empowerment. Pure Oasis is locally owned, socially conscious, and committed to addressing the needs of underserved communities through activism.
5. Josephine & Billie’s — Los Angeles, CA
Operated by Founder and chief executive Whitney Beatty and chief operating officer Ebony Andersen, Josephine and Billie’s offers one of the most unique dispensary experiences on the West Coast. Curated to honor the Jazz Age, Josephine and Billie’s is a speakeasy-themed dispensary created as a safe space for Black individuals to gather and enjoy good music.
The concept for the dispensary is inspired by 1920s tea pads but functions as a traditional shopping experience. Consumers can pick up a shopping basket and browse products from other Black, brown, and LGBTQ+ founded and owned cannabis brands before sitting back to read or just hang out. The space is heavily focused on education and also features a terpene bar with information, sniff samples, and products that come from and speak to the communities they serve.
Making a Change
While the number of Black-owned cannabis retailers is rising, we are still nowhere near where we need to be in terms of equity. If you’re looking to make an impact with your consumption, consider visiting one of the Black-owned retailers above next time you need to re-up. Emerald also encourages those outside the covered area to research local Black-owned cannabis businesses or consider donating time and money to help aid the fight for social equity.