As enterterpurners, we understand how important it is to have constant conversations involving business leaders in the cannabis industry- especially those young and black. Hope Wiseman, Seun Adedji, Jesse Grundy, and Reese Benton understand better than anyone of the successes, failures, lessons learned, and the visionary thinking that comes with working in the cannabis industry.
Hope Wiseman, Seun Adedji, Jesse Grundy, and Reese Benton all agree that before their time, it was rare to see young, black people represented positively in the cannabis industry. According to a 2017 study, less than a fifth of the people involved at an ownership or stake-holder level were people of color, and black people made up only 4.3 percent. But that didn’t hold these brave entrepreneurs back. Seun Adedji attributed confidence and hustle to his successes which allowed others interested in the industry to follow suit. However, these ventures did not go on without a few roadblocks along the way.
“I never thought at the time that this could ever become a career. Fast forward about 5 years, I’m at a crossroad in my life. I’m newly single with a young daughter, still hustling but also driving Uber on the side,” said Grundy. It wasn’t until Oakland, CA passed an equity program for inner city natives to get their permit that Grundy began to think seriously about the business. With dreams bigger than most, he secured a location, facility and the completed paperwork within weeks to become one of the first African American majority owners to get their license in California, all at the age of 26.
All four of these entrepreneurs share similar stories and understand the perseverance that comes with being young and black in the cannabis industry. While they all come from different places, one thing remains the same – a passion for bettering their communities.
To hear more about their stories and how they got into the industry, watch this video.
Entrepreneurs at Work
Peakz is a distribution and manufacturing cannabis brand. They focus on exotic strains that are all hand picked by Jesse Grundy. He works hand in hand with cultivator partners to pick the best strains, picking strains to crossbreed and coming up marketable names.
Learn more at: https://www.instagram.com/greenpeakzusa/
Website under construction: greenpeakz.com
Elev8 Cannabis is a company that empowers individuals to live their best lives. Their mission is to love, awaken, and elevate the human spirit by treating everyone like gold. Seun Adedeji, the founder and CEO of Elev8 Cannabis is an immigrant from the South Side of Chicago. When he first started this venture, he didn’t have much money, but I found that all you really need to succeed is love, creativity, and a lot of hustle.
Learn more at: https://www.instagram.com/elev8cannabis/
Posh Green is the first Equity Retail Cannabis Dispensary in San Francisco independently owned by a Woman of Color. San Francisco native, Reese Benton, established Posh Green Collective in 2016. Joining the strong but few minority owners in the cannabis industry. Reese has traveled the industry’s vast terrain to find only the best cannabis products available.
Learn more at: https://www.instagram.com/poshgreenretail/
Mary and Main is dedicated to offering education and guidance to people in our community and in the cannabis industry. To learn more visit
https://maryandmain.com/ or call us at 240-838-3660.