At 25, Hope Wiseman is set to become the country’s youngest black female owner of a cannabis dispensary.
The medicinal-cannabis dispensary, Mary and Main, will open in winter 2018 in Prince George’s County, Md., and will offer a variety of products and therapy treatments. With a recommendation from a registered physician in hand, customers can buy cannabis sativa and indica at Wiseman’s shop, as well as cannabis tea, edibles, balms and tinctures.
Wiseman spoke to the Washington Informer earlier this month about how she became interested in starting her own cannabis business, and why she wants black millennials to shape the still-nascent industry.
The Spelman grad told the outlet that she first felt compelled to start her business after seeing how the war on drugs in the ’90s had impacted the black community.
“I knew I wanted to be involved in cannabis to correct that,” Wiseman told the Informer. “I started doing research in my home state, and I knew that at that time there would be a bill legalized soon.”
Wiseman applied her background in finance and investment banking into researching and getting her business plan off the ground, getting investors, and partnering up with her mother on the venture. Wiseman left her job as an equity institutional sales analyst at SunTrust to commit herself to opening her business (though she did film a reality-TV show, WAGS Atlanta, this past summer, leaving her with little free time).
Wiseman also co-founded Compassionate Herbal Alternative with her mother, Dr. Octavia Simkins-Wiseman, a dentist and entrepreneur, and Dr. Larry Bryan.
The young ganjapreneur also told the Informer that she wants to encourage other black millennials to establish themselves in the predominantly white and male cannabis industry.
“We deserve a place in this industry,” Wiseman said. “It’s going to be bigger than the NFL. It is projected to be worth billions in a few years.”
Wiseman told EstroHaze that says she currently plans to have a soft opening for the new dispensary “around Christmas.”