This Black Woman Entrepreneur’s Pivot From Retail to Cannabis Industry Opens Doors to Generational Wealth
This businesswoman believes that for African Americans to be respected, there has to be financial stability and generational wealth throughout the community.
Black entrepreneur Aja Allen is living her best life after deciding to open the doors to her own marijuana shop, Sixty Four & Hope, in Central Los Angeles.
According to MJBizDaily, in Allen’s efforts to create generational wealth for her family, the businesswoman bowed out of working in retail fashion to pursue the marijuana industry. After winning a social equity license with the help of investment company 4thMvmt, she opened the franchise location.
“When social equity was presented to me by 4thMvmt, I said, ‘Wow, this is such a great opportunity,’” Allen shared. “It’s a retail store, something that I’m passionate about. It’s cannabis, something I’m super passionate about.”
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Allen said when people stop by her shop, it provides an opportunity to educate them about the meaning behind the name, which alludes to the “legalization of cannabis with Proposition 64” and the idea that “now there’s a ton of hope wrapped around that.”
“It is a dream realized,” she said. “It’s not about having a million dollars. For me, it’s about being a pillar in my community. That was a dream of mine.”
For Allen, growing up in a tough neighborhood and living in an environment where dead bodies were often seen in her alley caused a lot of PTSD, resulting in her relying on cannabis to decompress. “A lot of my friends went to jail for cannabis,” she said.
Allen advises other BIPOC entrepreneurs interested in the industry to stay diligent.
According to a 2022 report, data on women holding executive positions in the cannabis industry showed little gain over the past year. The 23.1% is down sharply from 36.8% in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If this is your dream, do not give up,” Allen added. “Continue to advocate for yourself, for the rest of us as a cannabis community.”