Hope Wiseman is a Spelman graduate. At just 25 years old, she’s also on her way to becoming America’s youngest Black woman to own a cannabis dispensary.
According to The Washington Informer, Wiseman’s Mary and Main will open in Maryland in 2018 and will be Prince George’s County’s first medicinal cannabis dispensary. Along with cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, the business will also offer cannabis therapy—including smoked cannabis, cannabis tea, sublingual sprays, and more.
“I followed economic trends a lot, so I knew that cannabis was going to be a huge industry,” Wiseman told The Informer earlier this month. Citing the war on drugs as an impetus, she also pursued the cannabis industry as a means to create change.
“I knew I wanted to be involved in cannabis to correct [how the war on drugs affected my community],” she 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.”
And she wants to create opportunities for her peers. Wiseman, who is also the founder of Compassionate Herbal Alternative, seeks to create opportunity for minorities “who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.” She’s also looking out for other Black millennials who wish to leave their mark in the cannabis industry.
“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.”
And she’s not wrong. In February 2017, New Frontier Data reported that the marijuana industry is projected to create more than a quarter million of jobs as early as 2020. Forbes also reported that, as of 2016, the legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion. On top of that, medical marijuana sales were projected to grow from $4.7 billion in 2016 to $13.3 billion in 2020.
Wiseman’s advice? Get in where you fit in.
“I would say work for another group, work for dispensaries and get as much information as you can and build your experience now, so when the time comes, you’re ready,” she said.
Mary and Main’s first location opens in winter 2018 in Capitol Heights, Maryland.