Meet The Spelman Grad Set To Become The Country's Youngest Black Cannabis Dispensary Owner
"We deserve a place in this industry," Hope Wiseman says.
The dispensary, Mary and Main, is set to open in winter 2018 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. It will offer medical marijuana in the form of a variety of products. With a medical recommendation, customers will be able to buy cannabis sativa and indica at Wiseman’s shop, as well as cannabis tea, edibles, balms and tinctures.
In an interview with the Washington Informer, Wiseman credits the war on drugs for her interest in the cannabis industry.
“I saw how the war on drugs impacted my community and I knew I wanted to be involved in cannabis to correct that,” the Maryland native said. “I started doing research in my home state and I knew that at that time there would be a bill legalized soon. The next step is an application process and they don’t really announce it, but you’ve just got to know.”
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Wiseman said that once a license is awarded, a buy-in cost of $200,000 within two years of being certified is required.
“With an investment banking background I knew what I had to do and began to raise money,” she said. “I also knew I needed to get investors to go in on this with me and I partnered with my mother, who’s a dentist and another investor. From there I left my job as a Equity Institutional Sales Analyst at SunTrust in Atlanta and came back home.”
In addition to Mary and Main, Wiseman also founded Compassionate Herbal Alternative to help create opportunities for minorities who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
“I definitely want to bring people along and bring other people up,” she said. “We deserve a place in this industry. It’s going to be bigger than the NFL. It is projected to be worth billions in a few years.”
To those looking to get involved in the industry, but don't currently have the capital to do so, she offers the advice of getting in where you fit in until you can get there.
"Work for another group, work for dispensaries and get as much information as you can and build your experience now,” she said. “So when the time comes, you’re ready.”