By Ryan Velez
In the first article of a two-part series, Black Enterprise began profiling several prominent black entrepreneurs in the legal cannabis market. While they note that there may not be as many African-Americans in this burgeoning space, there is still plenty of room in the market that is proposed to reach $44 billion by 2020. The first five entrepreneurs in this series may serve as a prime example of the potential for black people.
The first entrepreneur may be more known for his rap career rather than his business acumen, but Snoop Dogg makes the list nonetheless. He has combined his efforts with media entrepreneur Ted Chung to create Merry Jane, an all-purpose cannabis resource covering news, food, and style in the cannabis market. He also has created Leafs by Snoop, a collection of cannabis strains, as well as several cannabis chocolates and candies.
Chef Miguel Trinidad, chef and founding partner of Maharlika and Jeepney, is next on the list with his 99th Floor restaurant. The 99th Floor offers a full 5-course cannabis infused-meal, using canna-oils and butters. These dinners only make one portion of the 99th Floor’s business though. 99th Floor edible candies can be found at several California dispensaries.
Entrepreneurs 3 and 4 are Wanda James & Scott Durrah from Simply Pure Cooking. James is a veteran of the cannabis scene, having operated a 10,000 square foot growth facility and dispensary called Apothecary. At Simply Pure, she and her husband Durrah run a medical and recreational marijuana dispensary. Among their edible offerings are marijuana-infused jam and granola bars. They also run the Simply Pure School of Gourmet Cooking, designed to teach chefs how to use cannabis in their cooking.
Rounding out this first part of the list is Corey Barnette at District Growers in Washington, D.C. Barnette’s business offers cannabis flowers and edibles, and also offers a junior gardener training program to help others learn.
The remainder of the 11 entrepreneurs will be revealed on April 2nd.