Today, 4/20, is the official cannabis “holiday” celebrated around the world by stoner and cannabis enthusiasts alike, with an estimated 55 million Americans who use the plant regularly through different methods of consumption. As of this year, there are 11 states including Washington, Massachusetts, and Oregon that allow recreational marijuana usage with 33 states legalizing it strictly for medical usage.
The cannabis industry has become a lucrative business, making millions in revenue each year despite the federal restrictions. Black entrepreneurs face more hardships entering the cannabis industry in comparison to their white counterparts, including obtaining the necessary startup capital to obtain licenses and proper connections with suppliers. In a 2017 survey, less than a fifth of the people involved at an ownership or stake-holder level in a cannabis business were people of color. Black people made up only 4.3% of that group.
In honor of the cannabis holiday, here are a few black-owned dispensaries to visit and shop for your 4/20 needs.
Simply Pure Denver Dispensary
Simply Pure was the first black-owned and operated dispensary in the Denver area. Located in the hip LoHi neighborhood, Wanda James and her husband Scott Durrah became the first black business owners to own a dispensary, a cultivation facility, and an edible company in the country.
Blunt and Moore
Blunts and Moore is a dispensary that bills itself as “the happy store” and was the first black-owned retailer to open under Oakland’s social equity program. The company was started by Alphonso Blunt and Brittany Moore which is where the name came from.
Pure Oasis is Boston’s first black-owned dispensary to open in the state, owned by Kevin Hart (no, not the comedian) and Kobie Evans. Hart and Evans faced a difficult journey to opening their store in a state that was offering its coveted licenses to 75% white businesses and had been slow to roll out the process for more businesses to register for an operating license. Their product menu includes pre-rolled joints, concentrates, cannabis-infused edibles, along with vape pens and accessories.
Green Hop Dispensary
Green Hop is a black-owned dispensary based in Portland, Oregon, with a hip-hop theme. Inside you will find a product menu with strains named after hip-hop legends along with the usual accessories. It prides itself on being the first hip-hop dispensary in the world to offer state-of-the-art and digital technology experience.