This past November, New Jersey voted to legalize recreational marijuana. For Roll Up Life, a Black owned CBD distribution company, this was much awaited news. As a company already in the industry, they are positioning themselves to take advantage of the new law once it goes into effect.
Roll Up Life was founded by Tiyahnn Bryant, Precious Osagie-Erese and Kevin Manangai. “A lot of people just don’t know where to start. A lot of people don’t know how to get in (to the marijuana industry),” Bryant shared with Advanced Local Media. She went on to add “Our aim is to be the premier provider and transporter of cannabis and related products in the state of New Jersey.”
Though Roll Up Life just opened in November, the partners have been preparing for this for the past four years. They have been advocates for social equity and have been a part of the grassroots movement to get more Black entrepreneurs and business owners involved in New Jersey’s recreational marijuana world. Nationwide, Black businesses only make up 4% of business owners in the cannabis industry.
“A lot of us are arrested…because of this plant, yet you don’t see a lot of us making the money and revenue in the legal market,” Osagie-Erese said. “So that can be discouraging.”
As a way to initially test the market before the laws are in full effect, the three entered into the CBD industry. This also gave them the opportunity to continue educating themselves on the industry as education in the industry appears to be just as big a hurdle for Black entrepreneurs entering the industry as obtaining capital.
“If you’re looking to break into (this), I would immediately suggest heading into it research-wise, figuring out exactly what you want to do, going to conferences, going to meetings, going to expos in the cannabis industry, literally entrench yourself,” Osagie-Erese said. He went on to say, “Once you learn, you network. That’s the second essential thing. From networking that leads you to capital.”
The owners of Roll Up Life are putting in the work, sitting themselves up to win to show other Black entrepreneurs interested in getting into cannabis that it can be done. “As long as you’re one of the best companies, no matter whether you’re a minority company or predominantly white-owned company, the best companies win,” Bryant says. “We’ve been preparing to win this race…without the social equity application. We’ve been preparing to take this as far as we need to go. So fitting the criteria will just be a help for us.”
Original Article: NJ.com
Image Source: NJ.com