The Pioneer: Wanda James, the 1st Black Woman to Own a Marijuana Dispensary, Gets Real [Retracted]

RETRACTED (6/12/18):

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I aspired briefly to open a dispensary in Illinois but balked at the state licensing fees which are more than $500k, and $400k of that has to be in liquid assets. To be a grower, you need to pay much closer to $1 million. We only have a smattering of dispensaries around Chicago and I’m fairly certain they are all owned by whites.

This system is so blatantly set up for the wealthy (read: overwhelmingly white) to get wealthier, whether it’s in the sale of drugs (from marijuana to big pharma), while poor people (read: overwhelmingly of color) are being criminalized for abusing and selling them. And the very act of criminalization is also profitable, especially with the rise of privatized prisons and the (no doubt compulsory) use of inmate labor.

I wish this couple well, and I hope they have a plan in place to help support other business savvy folks of color so that others might excel in this industry. That’s difficult to do with the lack of established wealth, I know, but not impossible. We’ve identified the problem, now lets overcome it.