April 20 has been a decades-long “holiday” celebrated by cannabis consumers across the world through various gatherings and events. The genesis of 4:20 can be debated, but it is most often traced back to a group called the Waldos in San Rafael, California who set 4:20 as the time they’d meet after school to smoke. The day has now turned into a huge consumer event with cannabis sales soaring.
Headset, a data analytics company that looks at cannabis sales across markets reported that in 2021, the U.S. daily sales on April 20 increased 113%, with the days leading up to the cannabis holiday proving to be profitable for cannabis retailers and brands. This year is expected to be no different.
A Day to Honor the Sacrifices of Many
Despite the profitability of the day, with brands and businesses eager to create catchy 420 deals that will get consumers purchasing more, April 20 is also a reminder to consider and honor the path that got us to increased legalization, and the people who sacrificed so much to get us to this point.
BIPOCANN is a membership-based organization that promotes the participation of BIPOC entrepreneurs and companies within the cannabis space through networking, business-building resources, and elevating the contributions of BIPOC people to the cannabis space.
As people make plans to celebrate 420, we’d like to highlight some of our supporters, allies, and advocates from the BIPOCANN membership, encouraging the cannabis community at large to support these new, growing, and established businesses that are working to create an equitable industry.
10 Cannabis Businesses in the BIPOCANN Membership Network to Support on 420:
Where They Operate: Prime Harvest is based out of the San Diego, California area, and is spreading its operations across the state.
What They Do: Prime Harvest Inc. is a technology-focused full-service cannabis corporation. The company is horizontally diversified across various segments of the cannabis value chain including licensing acquisition and compliance management, state-wide delivery, and direct-to-consumer operations.
What We Like About their Work: Prime Harvest is passionate about seeing minorities succeed to build generational wealth from the cannabis industry. They are concerned with seeing the communities they serve capture their fair share of the industry’s benefits including financial profit, employment opportunities, environmental enrichment, innovation through R&D and education, new markets expansion, and improve the lives of cannabis operators in the US and beyond.
Prime Harvest is a member of the Community Alliance Program (CAP), a foundation that seeks to make a difference in local communities by providing financial assistance for educational programs, housing homeless veterans, creating urban farms, and holding local arts initiatives for children and adults. CAP also helps explore the natural healing attributes of medical cannabis through research, development, clinical trials, and advocating for the safe access of cannabis to those in need. Currently, CAP are focusing on PTSD, CTE, epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain, autism, education, mobilizing resources, and fostering resilient and sustainable community support systems.
How to Support Them: Prime Harvest’s flagship brand is Jaxx Cannabis, a dispensary located in Ramona, California. The company offers products based on how you want to feel, providing product selections based on different states of mind such as relax, move, focus, create, and energize. Jaxx offers delivery across San Diego county.
Colorado Kush Company
Where They Operate: Colorado Kush Company is formerly known as 719 Dispensary, which operates in Pueblo, Colorado.
What They Do: 719 (now Colorado Kush Company) is the first medical cannabis dispensary in Pueblo, Colorado, which strives to offer the best medical/recreational marijuana dispensary service in the city with the friendliest treatment and the best cannabis experience.
What We Like About their Work: What makes the Colorado Kush Company special is its owner, Steven Duran, who overcame so much adversity due to his use of cannabis and so many roadblocks to open 719 medical cannabis dispensary in 2014, also moving to open Cookies Pueblo in 2021. “Ultimately, [BIPOC] laid the foundation for the industry and paid the heftiest prices,” Steven told BIPOCANN in a recent interview, “There should be a lot more of us and people like us that are represented at the higher levels.”
How to Support Them: Visit Colorado Kush Company to learn more about its medical cannabis program and compassionate pricing. For recreational users, consider supporting Cookies Pueblo in Pueblo, Colorado, or order online to see the variety of Cookies brand products as well as the products curated in-store.
Where They Operate: Denver, Colorado
What They Do: Gentleman Quinns™ Blunt Company is an independently-owned and operated pre-roll cannabis company, handcrafting since 2015.
What We Like About their Work: Gentleman Quinns™ was founded by Jarrell Wall, who has strong interests in seeing more Black representation within the industry. “People should know that we work with the state on rules within the industry and we work hard to make sure many voices are heard in those rooms,” said Wall in an interview with Voyage Denver. “I’m serious about cannabis social equity as there aren’t many licensed owners from my background in Colorado.” In an interview with Go Solo, Wall said, “There aren’t many black owners in the industry, and I’m motivated to hold the door open the best I can.”
How to Support Them: Gentleman Quinns™ flagship product is the High Class Big Ass Blunt™, containing what Wall deems as the best flower in the state of Colorado, and distinguished by the unique hand-rolled process that ensures a uniform look, feel, and smoke. Their products can be found at Simply Pure (Denver, CO), Xclusive Cannabis Aurora (Aurora, CO), Dispensary Exit 243 (Idaho Springs, CO), and Smokeys 420 (Garden City, CO).
Better Days Delivery
Where They Operate: Better Days Delivery operates in Denver, Colorado, offering delivery services through their dispensary partner, L’Eagle.
What They Do: Better Days Delivery’s mission is to provide cannabis delivery services that ease and support the transaction between the dispensary and the customer while simultaneously helping the community to grow.
What We Like About their Work: Once criminalized for cannabis, the founder of Better Days Delivery, Michael Diaz-Rivera is now a license holder in the industry as a result of the cannabis Social Equity programs that supports those who have been impacted by the War on Drugs. Michael’s story is not unlike so many Black people who have been unjustly targeted by the criminal justice system for cannabis. “I realized the War on Drugs was a War on Us,” he said in a recent feature by BIPOCANN, which fuels his motivation to a national, if not international, brand.
How to Support Them: Those in the Denver area can support Michael Diaz-Rivera’s mission through Better Days Delivery by ordering products through L’Eagle.
Where They Operate: Set to open in April, Green Qween’s first location is in Downtown Los Angeles, California.
What They Do: Green Qween is a LGBTQ+ BIPOC owned and curated dispensary with a mission to give back to its community through seed to sale. The anchor of Green Qween’s plan for impact is its dedicated funding of the DTLA Proud Community Center. The Center will consist of LGBTQ+ programming around housing, employment, health, & legal services, as well as a non-profit incubator establishing itself as a hub for LGBTQ+ support and development in the region.
What We Like About their Work: Green Qween is filling an important gap for the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles. Their vision and mission are to create a unique queer community-driven socially conscious experiential retail environment and dynamic lifestyle brand that breaks from the typical hypermasculine dispensary model by creating an affordable safe space that invites LGBTQ, BIPOC, and allied consumers to choose Green Qween as their preferred cannabis resource. “We create these spaces so people know that they’re loved,” said Green Qween founder Andrés Rigal, when we caught up with him as they prepared for their April open. In addition to the aforementioned DTLA Proud Community Center, Green Qween is also a member of the Crysalis program which helps people who experience employment barriers reconnect to the workforce.
How to Support Them: As Green Qween prepares for its April opening, there are a few ways you can support them. Follow them on Instagram at @shopgreenqween, or consider becoming a Community Partner to help make their mission and vision a reality. You may also consider giving a donation to DTLA Proud to help make the DTLA Proud Community Center a reality.
Rebel Spirit Cannabis Company
Where They Operate: Rebel Spirit operates within Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
What They Do: Rebel Spirit embodies environmental sustainability at every level of their cultivation, from mixing their own soil, to using rainwater, and using all-natural nutrients.
What We Like About their Work: Rebel Spirit truly honors the past of cannabis and the tough sacrifices that many have had to make during cannabis prohibition. Rebel Spirit’s farm is working to preserve the legacy of Mark Brian Ingraham, aka. “Uncle Mark”, their “original rebel” who was incarcerated in 1992 for growing cannabis within a self-sustaining community he had built with others who shared his vision. He died while in prison and Rebel Spirit operates on his farm. Rebel Spirit is partnered with The Last Prisoner Project to help eradicate the injustices within the criminal system against those who have been charged with cannabis crimes.
How to Support Them: As Rebel Spirit’s mission states, “There is a rebel inside each of you that is ready to be awakened and taken on an adventure that we are cultivating for you.” Rebel Spirit’s selection of top-quality cannabis and superior strains can be found in 45 locations across Oregon.
Where They Operate: Wana Brands operates out of Boulder, Colorado, but has distribution across the U.S.
What They Do: Wana Brands is considered a major leader in the cannabis edibles product category, known for their vegan, terpene-enhanced, melt-proof recipe.
What We Like About their Work: Wana Brands’ mission is to enhance people’s lives through the power of cannabis… but they don’t just mean with their products. A grassroots, woman-owned business with deep ties to their Boulder community – and a commitment to enriching all the communities they serve – they’re working every day to enhance our world, with a special focus on issues of food security, housing, domestic violence, LGBTQIA+ rights, and racial justice within the cannabis industry.
How to Support Them: Wana Brands products can be found across most states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal.
Where They Operate: Columbia Care’s medical cannabis dispensaries operate across 16 states in the U.S.
What They Do: Columbia Care is a patient-centered organization setting the standard for compassion, professionalism, quality, caring and innovation, working in collaboration with some of the most renowned and innovative teaching hospitals and medical centers in the world. The company also offers a variety of health and wellness brands and products.
What We Like About their Work: Columbia Care in Virginia is partnering with BIPOCANN on the Virginia Initiative, which connects black cannabis entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals to the new Virginia cannabis industry economy. “We need to make sure the industry is fully accessible to all people while making sure people can actually navigate the process,” said Columbia Care’s Vice President of Public Policy, Ngiste Abebe, in a BIPOCANN interview, “We can achieve equity by rethinking our systems with a more equitable lens and more inclusive strategies.”
How to Support Them: While Columbia Care operates across 16 states, we invite our network in Virginia to visit Columbia Care’s Richmond, Virginia Beach, Short Pump, and Portsmouth locations in that state to directly contribute to the Virginia Initiative.
Where They Operate: Cresco Labs has one of the largest footprints in the U.S., operational in 10 states, with dispensaries in seven.
What They Do: Cresco Labs owns 50 dispensaries in seven states under the Sunnyside*™ brand, possesses 51 licenses, and runs 21 production facilities.
What We Like About their Work: Cresco’s Social Equity and Education Development (SEED) initiative is designed to ensure that all members of our society have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and own businesses in the cannabis industry. From collaborating with universities to develop cannabis-focused curriculum to working with local agencies and community organizations to sponsor expungement events, the SEED initiative consists of impactful programs and actionable solutions-based approaches that Cresco Labs believes will help make the cannabis industry a highly inclusive force for job creation. Zach Walker, who now currently works for Cresco Labs was BIPOCANN’s first staff member helping with social media initiatives, and Zach takes the values that brought him to BIPOCANN into his work at Cresco Labs.
How to Support Them: Cresco’s bright, welcoming Sunnyside*™ cannabis retail locations can be found across Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. Explore the various brands produced by Cresco Labs.
Where They Operate: Where’s Weed operates across the U.S. and Canada.
What They Do: Where’s Weed is the comprehensive online consumer resource that connects visitors with relevant cannabis businesses across the US and Canada. They showcase a variety of different directories to help people find dispensaries, delivery services, MMJ doctors, smoke shops, branded products, and related deals — plus relevant cannabis news and culture.
What We Like About their Work: Where’s Weed believes that advocacy is a group effort, teaming up with other leaders in the space including BIPOCANN, with a goal of creating a more accessible and profitable legal cannabis industry for BIPOC business owners and professionals. Where’s Weed sees that the cannabis industry is a work in progress to reach an equitable landscape for everyone, and hope that they can do their part to help shed light on these issues in the future.
How to Support Them: Where’s Weed is a resource that will act as a central hub to connect you to your favorite brands and products in your area. Be sure to look at their advocacy section to see some of their posts that demonstrate their dedication to an equitable cannabis space.
Promote Diversity in Cannabis with BIPOCANN
As you pick up your products and gather for your 420 celebrations, we hope you take a moment to recognize, honor, and give back to the people who fought for the legalization we’re currently enjoying. Each of the BIPOCANN membership businesses we featured today has a stated and demonstrated goal to create an equitable space within the cannabis industry in alignment with the work of our organization.
Consider becoming a member of BIPOCANN, which helps promote diversity in cannabis by reducing barriers for BIPOC and minority-owned businesses to access industry education, networking, partner conferences and events, and resources to support their growth.
The national cannabis business membership network includes black-owned cannabis brands and ancillary startups, social equity operators, media & event partners, and ally companies who support BIPOCANN and its mission pillars of visibility, representation, and cannabis social equity. Be sure to browse our business directory of BIPOC-owned, women-owned, and cannabis social equity businesses as you make informed choices that help build generational wealth within the communities whose sacrifices paved the way for the industry we benefit from today.