Business

Black, female cannabis entrepreneurs we’re following in 2022

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It’s hard to immerse yourself in a business overshadowed by the War on Drugs without acknowledging its disproportionate effects on people of color.

The latest statistics show Black people are, on average, 3.6x more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people in the United States. Meanwhile, only about four percent of cannabis businesses are Black-owned.

RELATED: Why are cannabis equity programs failing people of color? Here’s a Black, female business-owner’s perspective

But some entrepreneurs are working to change those stats. Though there’s still much work to be done, these Black business owners are forging paths not only for themselves, but for other people of color, too, in this emerging industry.

Here are three Black cannabis entrepreneurs we’re following in 2022:

1. Hope Wiseman @iamhopesodope

Hope Wiseman opened her medical cannabis dispensary, Mary and Main, in Maryland when she was just 25. She is currently the youngest Black dispensary owners in the U.S.

Wiseman attended Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating with a degree in economics, she worked as a business analyst for SunTrust before opening Mary & Main in 2018.

She sites her experience with Habitat for Humanity as one of the most inspiring times in her life, which is what led her to dedicate herself to the chronic illness community.

2. Khadijah Adams @khadijahadams

While Khadijah isn’t a dispensary owner, she’s a major player in Denver’s entrepreneurial community. Her firm, CE Hutton LLC, invests in cannabis businesses and has worked with over fifteen Black-owned marijuana companies.

RELATED: What “Black-ish” Got Right About the Racial Stigma Surrounding Cannabis

When she’s not investing in the future of the cannabis industry, Khadijah is speaking out on how important it is to integrate the industry while remembering how differently Black and white cannabis arrests have been treated.

 

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3. Whitney Beatty @thehighmommylife

This LA entrepreneur and owner of Josephine & Billie’s is an undeniable voice in creating more inclusiveness in the cannabis community. When she was first looking into cannabis for her own medical use, she was inspired and angered by the lack of people of color in the industry.

In an interview with ScaryMommy, Beatty said, “You’re going to build a $70 billion industry on a plant that you used to destroy my community? And so I started looking into the cannabis industry.”

Her business is committed to hiring Black people—specifically, Black women—at all points in the supply chain.

RELATED: Is America’s Approach to Cannabis Racist? Study Shows It’s Worse Than You Think

 

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What Can You Do to Support Black Cannabis Entrepreneurs?

First, you can go out of your way to support businesses run by people of color in your day-to-day life, no matter the industry. Second, you can do the important work of investigating your internal beliefs on how Black people fit into the cannabis space.

Educate yourself on the stigma that still surrounds Black cannabis consumers and business owners in many parts of the country, read about the War on Drugs, and, if you are a cannabis business owner yourself, think about ways to make your company more diverse. In this way, we will push the industry to a more inclusive future.