The first Black woman- and Haitian-American-owned adult-use cannabis dispensary on the East Coast has opened in Brockton, Massachusetts, Enterprise News reports.
Brockton’s Vanessa Jean-Baptiste — who co-owns Legal Greens with Mark Bouquet, of Boston — said, “As first-generation Haitian Americans, we are fulfilling our parents’ dreams of creating a better life for future generations to come.”
A recent beneficiary of Massachusetts‘ economic empowerment program — which was designed to help members of communities that were disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition to obtain cannabis business licenses — Jean-Baptiste said she wanted to help revitalize the downtown of the city where she grew up. Legal Greens is the second dispensary located in downtown Brockton.
“I want to bring life into downtown. I want to be the first person in downtown to create some change.” — Jean-Baptiste, via Enterprise News
To help get things started, the company was given a loan for $100,000 in cash and $150,000 in product from Massachusetts- and Maine-based cannabis retail cannabis chain Theory Wellness. Legal Greens used the loan to renovate a former commercial building owned by Haitian activist Fred Fontaine.
Jean-Baptiste said she hopes to expand the business to cover both cannabis cultivation and manufacturing in the future. The company also intends to help people freshly released from prison rejoin society.
“We hope to inspire Black and brown residents in Brockton and across the country to pursue their dreams relentlessly because as long as you work hard and don’t give up, anything is possible,” Jean-Baptiste told Enterprise News.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Legal Greens was the first Black woman-owned dispensary on the East Coast. Rather, it is the first such recreational retailer, but there are multiple medical cannabis dispensaries on the East Coast owned by Black women including Mary & Main in Maryland and the National Holistic Healing Center in Washington DC. We regret our reporting error.
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