Social fairness is an ongoing concern in the cannabis industry, and while encouraging regulations have been put in place to support the idea, much of it has yet to come to fruition.
In the meantime, the cannabis industry can take matters into its own hands by supporting black-owned brands and nurturing minority operators who have been held back by legal gambling – and there are plenty of amazing companies to look into.
In honor of Black History Month, legacy operators and organizations working hard to provide a level playing field for cannabis workers everywhere, Brutality has compiled a list of some of the best black-owned cannabis companies in the industry today.
From cannabis manufacturing companies to nonprofits and lifestyle brands, this list – far from exhaustive – showcases a wide variety of black-owned magic to watch out for when deciding which sect of the industry you want to support.
Founded by husband and wife team Wanda James and Scott Durrah in 2014, Simply Pure made history as the first black, female-owned cannabis company nationwide.
Both James and Durrah are military veterans, and after seeing how cannabis helps veterans with PTSD, chronic pain, and other ailments, they decided to open their own clinic.
Based in Denver, Colorado, the company sells cannabis products made from its farm, all with the goal of helping the surrounding community and spreading the healing power of cannabis.
Another cannabis company led by a black veteran is Supernova Women, a cannabis collective that aims to empower people of color to become “self-sufficient shareholders in the cannabis economy.”
Founded and led by U.S. Coast Guard veteran and marketing expert Amber Senter, the company educates people of color on how to get involved in legislative efforts to legalize cannabis and how those regulations might affect your company.
Boston-based Ardent is a cannabis-based biotech and medical device company focused on improving administration and overall efficiency in the industry. Ardent was founded by Shanel Lindsay in 2013, who has done nothing but innovate since his early days in cannabis.
Ardent has produced NOVA, a precision lab-grade decarboxylator that’s unique on the market, and they also sell infusion kits, molds, and other edible-making accessories for the curious, do-it-yourself consumer.
Cannaclusive is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a proposed solution to the cannabis inclusivity problem. Founded by media pundit and cannabis mogul Mary Pryor, the company was created to facilitate equal representation of minority cannabis consumers and operators.
“We were inspired by the growing opportunities but disappointed by the diversity issues taking root in traditional cannabis cultivation,” reads their website. Cannaclusive celebrates oppressed cannabis subcultures by sharing experiences, ideas, thoughtful content and dynamic visuals.
Founded by Oakland native Terryn Niles Buxton, Oakland Extracts is a concentrate-focused brand that provides local consumers with high-quality products in small batches.
Coined “Terps From the Town,” the brand offers live resin, vapes, badders, and sugars, but their most sought-after product is Cookie crumble, a signature small-batch concentrate hand-formed into individual cookies for a maximum terpene retention.
Founded by Liz Jackson-Simpson, 2017 San Francisco Human Rights Commission “Hero of the Year,” Success Centers is an empowerment-focused organization.
In an industry that has yet to see the social justice it continues to promise, Success Centers offer marginalized communities a boost by helping them find jobs, complete their cannabis education and tap into in their unique creativity.
Kimberly Dillon is the founder of Frigg Wellness, a cannabis beauty brand that prioritizes finding plant-based solutions for women, inside and out.
The brand’s functional formulas help support consumers’ emotional well-being and combat common issues such as dry skin and scalp, thinning hair and premature signs of aging.
Dillon, who was part of the founding team of Papa & Barkley, brings a lot of credibility and experience to any cannabis venture.
Founded by Social Equity Licensee and CEO Timeka Drew, Biko is one of the most sought after cannabis brands on the market today. Offering elite pre-rolls and flowers, the brand aims to celebrate the old-fashioned, ritualistic way of approaching cannabis.
Biko also aims to build lasting partnerships with other social equity entrepreneurs, supporting a network fueled by mutual respect and solidarity in a highly competitive industry.
Founded in 2013 in Washington State, Hollingsworth Cannabis Company is a Black-owned family business.
The company is the only black-owned cannabis farm in the state, and it prides itself on its cutting-edge genetics, clean harvests, nutrient-rich soil, and sustainability.
Juice Joint was co-founded by Krystal Hamlett, a cannabis expert with over 10 years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences, and Matthew Lovett, a communications expert who has worked with Grammy-winning artists.
Together, the duo fleshed out Juice Joint, a delicious line of infused beverages that encourage wellness at every step.
This cannabis brand is aimed at sports enthusiasts, as it was co-founded by four-time NBA champion John Salley and his daughter Tyla.
The premium brand is dedicated to bringing consumers the best products for their needs, from pre-rolls to topicals. They are also adamant about consumer education, which is readily available with all of their products.
This cannabis lifestyle brand offers full-circle lifestyle programming that emphasizes holistic care in every way: cannabis, fitness, nutrition, mental health and wellness.
Founded by a Brooklyn native Thai Richardsthe brand sets the tone for New York’s legal industry, allowing the factory’s fast-paced East Coast approach to shine.
Bouqé was founded by CK Dunson and is based in Washington, DC A graduate of the University of Georgia, Dunson was introduced to the benefits of cannabis after suffering a series of sports injuries.
From there, he became passionate about the plant, determined to work in the industry and develop his own brand. Bouqé’s main draw is their elite rolling papers, but they offer a variety of sophisticated accessories and apparel that go along with the brand’s clean aesthetic.
Founded by Stuart McClean and based in Nashville, Inertia’s Root was originally intended to be a cooperative for black hemp growers.
She has since spun off into her own brand, offering flowers, tinctures and balms, while educating farmers on best growing practices.
Mary and Main, a Maryland-based cannabis dispensary, made history when it was founded by Hope Wiseman, the youngest black woman to own a cannabis business nationwide.
With the key mission of cannabis education, the dispensary is unique in that beyond its product offerings, it offers Cannabis 101 courses to consumers who want to learn more about how the plant can work for them.
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