Black owned cannabis shops make up only 4% of the industry. The desire to change that statistic and have a black owned space in a black community is what drives the owners of Green Hop, Portland’s first black owned cannabis shop.
How they plan to accomplish expanding black ownership in the cannabis industry is through their Green Hop Academy, a program that educates black youth, ages 21-21, about entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry. The city of Portland awarded Green Hop $96,000 in June 2018 to help fund this Academy.
Green Hop is also the country’s first hip-hop themed weed dispensary.
The green and yellow shop is decorated with various hip-hop themed items, iconic albums, and graffiti. “Green Hop will use hip-hop as an icebreaker in educating their clients about where their flower comes from, looking at growers’ practices and terpene levels,” writes Jenni Moore of Portland Mercury. The shop also has an all black staff and is located in a history black part of Portland.
Just like hip-hop and weed go hand and hand for many, weed and mass incarceration has also gone hand and hand for the black community for decades now. Study after study has showed that blacks and white use marijuana at similar rates. However, blacks are 4x more likely to get arrested for it.
“Growing up and watching my family struggle, watching my mom, my siblings, my brother go to jail for selling marijuana right here, on the same street where we are legally selling it now, it’s not fair,” says Green Hop manager Mss_Oregon.
Now that marijuana is getting legalized across the country, it is imperative that the black community, which has faced so much prosecution over it, now profits from it.
Learn more about Green Hop by watching the video above and visiting their website here.