As marijuana becomes legalized in city after city across the United States, you read a great deal about “equity” and the idea that the communities which have been most heavily affected by criminal prosecutions in the past should be participants in the now booming industry.
But it took more than two years for Chicago’s first Black-owned weed brand to hit the dispensaries.
93 Boyz is owned by hip hop artists Vic Mensa and Towkio and has become Chicago’s first Black-owned weed brand. The pre-rolled joints are on sale now at local dispensaries, according to Chicago’s local Fox affiliate.
Mensa’s intention was “to bring the really ill cannabis,” he told Block Club Chicago. Block Club also noted that while Black weed entrepreneurs have tried to enter the industry they’ve hit “hurdle after hurdle” in red tape and byzantine local restrictions.
Detroit has had similar problems with a roll-out which was intended to boost Black entrepreneurs, which lead to “lawsuits and a collapsing marketplace” as weed became legal across Michigan, according to Politico.
Mensa told Fox 32 Chicago that 93 Boyz was launched “with a program called Books Before Bars” which sends books to people in jail.
93 Boyz weed products are now available at dispensaries in Chicago and around the state.
Photo: Vic Mensa by Gabe Oviawe (provided)