The origins of how the twentieth day of April became known as a heralded holiday for cannabis enthusiasts are many. But, the day is here to stay among those who participate.
In the US, the criminalization of weed has clearer, more racially and politically motivated origins, the result of which has fueled a failed War on Drugs and led to the mass incarceration of millions of Black Americans. Legislation in several states across the country has already made the recreational consumption of weed legal.
Some cities and states took the measure a step further by expunging drug records from those impacted by former policies, while others, like New York, are pushing to make sure people arrested for selling drugs are first in line to receive marijuana licenses.
As communities and individuals wait for those measures to take effect, there are some Black cannabis dispensary owners already taking the industry by storm.
Here are 10 Black-Owned dispensaries to support your 4/20 festivities and beyond.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Simply Pure is a trailblazer in the industry as the first Black-owned and female-owned cannabis dispensary in the nation, according to Ebony. Founders Wanda James and Scott Durah have been aiding those with health ailments and stress across the Rocky Mountains since 2014. In 2020, James was named one of the 35 Most Influential Women in Cannabi by Green Intrepreneur.
Former NBA Player Al Harrington owns Viola and is on a mission to shift the narrative surrounding cannabis. Harringston said in a statement, “All of our work is invested to create a brand that uses its platform and resources to create opportunities of empowerment, education, and inspiration for the people who have been most affected by the war on drugs–which primarily are black and brown folks." Check out Viola for all of your flower, vape, and edible needs.
Arantha Forrow founded Caledonia Cannabis and runs her Black-owned business through a mobile trolley car coined as a “Cannaboose.” In a state that’s roughly 94 percent white and 1 percent Black, Caledonia Cannabis is serving the people of Vermont with homegrown cannabis products made at Forrow’s family-run farm.
For those in the Jersey area, CannaBoy Treehouse is a one-stop-shop for all things cannabis. The Black-owned dispensary sells flowers, pet products, tinctures, and isolates while offering a community event space where cannabis-themed parties can be thrown.
St. Louis native Adrienne Scales-Williams founded the first Black-owned dispensaries in Missouri. Luxury Leaf opened its doors in February selling medicinal flowers, edibles, and vape pens. Williams is looking to educate people about the plant's benefits and “make it a natural thing for people to take,” 5 On Your Side News reports.
Mary And Main
Mary and Main offer the DMV area CBD-infused concentrates, edibles, flowers, and more. According to Ebony, Hope Weisman, the founder of Mary and Main, is the youngest Black woman to own a cannabis dispensary in the U.S. Lending support to this business would also help fund their Cannabis 101 courses that educate people on the benefits of endocannabinoids.
Blunts + Moore
For your recreational or medicinal needs, Blunts + Moore is dedicated to making premium cannabis products accessible to the local Oakland community.
Business partners, Rashan, Jonathan, and Keon bring several years of experience in the cannabis industry. The trio founded the THC Club to provide a variety of cannabis products with the goal of educating their customers to maximize their experience.
Inno Medicinals provides a range of CBD products for every household –– from bath to pet, oils, skincare, and more, this Atlanta-based CBD dispensary has it all.
District Hemp Botanicals
District Hemp Botanicals was founded in 2017 by Barbara Biddle who discovered the benefits of CBD products while experiencing postpartum depression. The store provides the DC area with a variety of hemp-derived CBD wellness products including teas, oils, and more.