BHM Archives - Green Market Report

Prissilla RamseyMarch 1, 2021


Editors Note: This is the last article in a month-long series celebrating Black History Month. (We know that ended yesterday, but we didn’t want this wonderful story to get lost over the weekend.)

In the 1980s, African Americans were arrested for drug offenses at a rate 10 times higher than their white counterparts. And while there has been some improvement since then, African Americans are still nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and that makes it difficult for people to trust their local dispensary.

Karim Mayfield was a world champion boxer who turned his passion into a career as a cannabis entrepreneur. He knows first-hand how hard it can be to find trustworthy information on your products and services, which is why he’s dedicated his life to creating an environment where you can buy with confidence.

War on drugs hit the African American community hardest. Karim Mayfield was first arrested at 18 as a result of a cannabis charge that threatened to derail Karim’s life.

While living in San Francisco’s historic Black neighborhood, the Fillmore, Karim was suddenly chained to an arrest record. This seemingly ordinary occurrence made getting a job nearly impossible.

Karim Mayfield had a chance visit to the gym which led to his boxing career, which would eventually lead him to become a Golden Gloves and NABO junior welterweight champion.

Now Karim Mayfield, an African American entrepreneur, owns his own cannabis dispensary in San Francisco.

California voters passed Proposition 64 which legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21 years old. However, there are still restrictions on who can own and operate a cannabis business within the state.

The current system has led to an environment where only those with access to capital have been able to enter into this industry—leaving most people from communities that were historically targeted by drug laws behind in terms of creating wealth through legal means.

Karim has always been a cannabis enthusiast, but for him, it was more of a hobby.

The opportunity to own his own dispensary came through the San Francisco Cannabis Equity Program, which seeks to create prosperity and secure ownership in the cannabis industry for those hardest hit by the War on Drugs—primarily low-income residents who live in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by drug enforcement efforts and individuals convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses.

Karim Mayfield is also the owner of SoulChamp, a boxing gym dedicated to providing the kind of youth mentorship that helped turn his own life around. He has joined a new generation of professional athletes who incorporate ca into their training and wellness regimens.

After many states recently voted to repeal cannabis restrictions, all against the backdrop of the nation confronting an ongoing reckoning for social justice, Karim’s store opening was an especially poignant milestone.

An up-close and personal reckoning hits Mayfield’s life and family as they continue to fight for justice for his unarmed brother who was shot by BART police in Oakland.

“The store is called Authentic 415 because I’m authentically 415, and being authentic means giving back to the city and the people who raised me.” Karim Mayfield stated.

“I’ll use my new position as CEO of a cannabis business to help people be safer by giving them a trusted place to purchase a product that’s finally being recognized for its benefits. On a more personal level, I’ll also serve my community by continuing the fight for social and racial justice in memory of my brother.”

Authentic 415’s first day of operation was January 23, 2021.

The store carries a curated collection of cannabis products including Elyon, Ball, Family Farms, STIIIZY, and more.

While the cannabis industry is poised to create billions of dollars over the next 30 years, Karim Mayfield plans to take part in this historic journey, with his feet on the ground ready to continue the fight for social justice while serving the community.


Prissilla Ramsey shares the byline for this story with John Ramsey.


Taneia SurlesFebruary 26, 2021


Editors Note: This is part of a month-long series on Black-owned cannabis companies to celebrate Black History Month.

When thinking about the type of patients that use medical marijuana, one may think primarily of those with a chronic illness. However, there is another overlooked population that can benefit from cannabis: veterans. Launching next week, Gratitude Blossom is one of the latest cannabis companies that aims to provide the best services to medical marijuana patients.

 New Cannabis Company on the Rise

Launching next week, Gratitude Blossom is a cannabis company founded by Antionette Wade based in San Diego, California. that provides physician-approved CBD products to customers and patients who use alternative health methods and natural remedies. The company’s mission is to educate its consumers and medical marijuana patients about how beneficial hemp-derived CBD and cannabis can be. Gratitude Blossom provides information on safe ways to access CBD and cannabis legally and affordably.

Gratitude Blossom’s website includes the following:

  • Meditation sessions: Clients can request a customized meditation session with a consultation beforehand.
  • Consultations: New clients of the company can receive talks that address their physical and mental needs. The consultant designs a plan for the client used to help improve their health and wellbeing.
  • A CBD shop, which includes items such as tincture, freeze cream, gummies, and more
  • A blog that discusses all things CBD and cannabis

Gratitude Blossom’s Associate Program

Gratitude Blossom also offers consumers and patients the opportunity to become an Associate. As an Associate, clients can access exclusive information relating to medication, counseling, and outreach programs. There is also the opportunity for Associates to receive, practice, or teach stress-relieving techniques.

About the Owner

Gratitude Blossom is owned by black businesswoman and veteran Antoinette Wade. Wade has had a long-lasting career full of accolades and achievements. Antoinette has received a master’s degree in Health Sciences with a major in Public Health from Trident University, a bachelor’s degree in Business and Leadership from Trident University, and an Associate degree in Supervision and Management from Coastline Community College.

Antoinette served 11 years in the Navy, holding positions such as an Aviation Structural Mechanic Leading Petty Officer, a Legal Administrative Specialist, a Recruiter, and a Human Resource Liaison. When the Navy honorably discharged Antoinette, she received numerous awards to recognize her hard work and humanitarianism. During her time in the Navy, she gained leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills that would help her in the future with her business, Gratitude Blossom.

Antoinette’s great educational background, work experience, and skills allow her to develop a stronger connection with her patients, including veterans, the disabled, and the terminally ill. Her exceptional customer skills allow Antoinette to advocate for people who can’t, as she has a deeper understanding of a cannabis patient’s needs.

Antoinette has deep roots within humanitarianism, previously working as a YMCA Summer Camp volunteer and currently holding a membership with the Disabled American Veterans Organization. Antoinette believes that communities are built on the foundation and root of people. She aims to use her extensive knowledge and experiences to improve her patients’ health and wellbeing.

Patient advocacy is a vital part of improving the lives of medical marijuana patients. The cannabis industry relies on its consumers and patients, so they must provide the services needed to ensure customer satisfaction. With a business-driven CEO who advocates heavily for the needs of all cannabis patients, Gratitude Blossom will be a highly successful company in the alternative health industry.

Taneia SurlesFebruary 24, 2021


Editors Note: This is part of a month-long series featuring Black-owned cannabis companies and leaders.

Ardent Life, Inc: A Company Revolutionizing Cannabis Technology

The growing cannabis industry is continuously looking for ways to change the way patients access and use medical marijuana.  With constant updates in technology, cannabis companies must formulate new ways to provide services to clients in an efficient manner. For Ardent, the company has put in many years of hard work to offer patients different ways to consume medical marijuana.

Creating New Administrative Routes of Marijuana

Ardent Life Inc., a company based in Boston, was officially launched in 2015 by its founder, Shanel Lindsay. The company’s idea came to fruition due to Shanel not being satisfied with the limited administrative routes for cannabis. With years of hard work, Lindsay would create a sublingual (underneath the tongue) administration of cannabis. This administration route had never been introduced to the cannabis industry before, which led to Lindsay immediately protecting her concepts before other companies could grab hold of it. In 2014, G.W. Pharmaceuticals gave $100 million to the company to support FDA trials of the company’s sublingual sprays, Sativex and Epidiolex.

About the Founder

Ardent Life, Inc.’s CEO, Shanel Lindsay, is a medical marijuana patient who has suffered from chronic pain and inflammation due to ovarian cysts formation from having her son. Shanel strives to help other women and patients alleviate their pain through the use of medical marijuana. Shanel began working with scientists at MCR Labs to research decarboxylation, leading to the NOVA Decarboxylator & Infuser. Decarboxylation allows for THC and CBD in cannabis to have more potency and more accurate dosages.

Besides her work with Ardent, Shanel is an attorney and activist for the cannabis industry, fighting for equity amongst the industry. Additional accolades of Shanel include being an author of the Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, a twice-appointed treasurer of the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board, and the Co-Founder of Equitable Opportunities NOW! (EON).

An Easy-Bake Oven for Weed?!

One of Ardent Life, Inc.’s most recent products is the Ardent FX. Also known as the “Easy-Bake Oven” for marijuana, Ardent FX is an all-in-one kitchen appliance that allows patients to get the full value of their plant. Patients can cook, infuse, or bake cannabis with a portable machine. Ardent FX can decarboxylate THC, CBD, CBG, conduct oil, milk, and cream infusion with a simple press of a button. The revolutionary device is accessible for experts and novices that may not have any cannabis baking or cooking experience. Ardent FX is a kitchen appliance that won’t take up much room on the counter and can be used for other things besides cannabis. The product currently retails for $350 on Ardent Life Inc.’s website.

The Ardent NOVA: The Little Sister to Ardent FX

Ardent Life, Inc. offers a smaller version of Ardent FX called the “Ardent NOVA.” Ardent Nova is very similar to Ardent FX, but it is an excellent option for those who are just beginning to cook or bake with cannabis. With Ardent NOVA, users can still use oil and butter infusion to get high potency levels and doses from their cannabis. The Ardent NOVA retail price is $260 on their website.

With the increased legalization of medical cannabis use across the country, patients may have different needs regarding administration, dosage, and potency of cannabis. Shanel and her company, Ardent Life, Inc., have created a solution by introducing new administration routes for cannabis. With the inclusion of the Ardent FX and Ardent NOVA, Ardent Life, Inc. has marked its territory as an extraordinary force in the cannabis industry.

Prissilla RamseyFebruary 22, 2021


Editors Note: This is part of a month-long series for Black History Month featuring cannabis industry leaders. 

A lot of the public still thinks that cannabis is harmful to your health and leads to addiction. The NFL has a long history of players getting suspended or fired for marijuana use, but this attitude is changing because more people are starting to recognize the benefits of cannabis. Cannabis has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety while providing the potential for a better quality of life.


Reuben Droughns knows firsthand how cannabis can help you manage pain and reduce anxiety in stressful situations. Reuben, an outspoken Black American supporter of cannabis consumption since his retirement from the NFL in 2009, claims that medicinal marijuana helped him manage pain and anxiety while he played professional football. He still actively promotes its benefits today.

Athletes are often afraid to admit they use cannabis for fear of losing their endorsements and sponsorships. But the benefits of using marijuana as a safer alternative to opioids or other prescription drugs by far outweigh any potential consequences, both in the short term and long run. That’s why former NFL player and current cannabis advocate Reuben is advocating for reform in the NFL. He has been one of many players to call on the league to remove cannabis from its list of banned substances.

He also wants other athletes suffering from chronic pain or mental stress to know about its benefits so they can make informed decisions about their own bodies. Reuben not only is trying to change the NFL for the better, but he’s also educating the general population on cannabis products and benefits.

In an effort to help consumers make more informed decisions about cannabis products and benefits, Reuben Droughns teamed up with Lightshade. Lightshade is on the front lines of cannabis education as a dispensary that caters to both recreational and medical marijuana users.

Reuban and Lightshade created a series of cannabis videos called Doobin’ with Reuben. The show will explore his personal insights on the wide variety of different cannabis products and provide consumers with crucial information they can use when buying their next product.

Doobin’ with Reuban will discuss all things cannabis in this episode.

  • They’ll explore effects consumers can expect from each type of product reviewed and share some ideal use cases for each cannabis experience.
  • Key takeaways from their experience including cannabinoid levels in milligrams and whether it is a vape, edible, or tincture being reviewed will also be highlighted as well.

With all the choices and options available today, it is difficult to navigate through a saturated market. There’s a way to know which products are worth their cash: Doobin’ with Reuban.

“People have a lot of questions about different products, how much to ingest and what to expect when they’re enjoying cannabis. I hope my reviews help folks gain the knowledge they need to make the best decisions and that they have fun while watching them, too. We definitely have fun making them.” Reuben Droughns

Reuben is a man on a mission. He wants to make the world a better place by educating people about cannabis products and advocating for NFL players.


StaffFebruary 5, 2021


Editors Note: This story is part of a month-long Black History Month series to celebrate the contributions of Black cannabis industry leaders. 

In San Francisco, the cannabis industry is booming with opportunity. But many people from marginalized community groups feel that they are being left out of this exciting and lucrative business opportunity.

Minorities are underrepresented in the legal cannabis industry despite being disproportionately affected by prohibition laws. Women of color have significantly less access to resources than their white counterparts and face multiple barriers when trying to enter the market as entrepreneurs or investors.

People of color also want to take part in this new economic frontier but many don’t know where to turn or who to trust for help getting started.

Liz Jackson-Simpson

Liz Jackson-Simpson, a woman of color took the challenge after a five-year stint as the first-ever YMCA of San Francisco Executive Director of Program Development. Liz was an artist who lived for her community, and she always put the people first.

That is why it came as no surprise when she accepted this position to become the first Executive Director of Success Centers, a non-profit organization working towards providing opportunities for people who have been previously incarcerated or impacted by the criminalization of drug use; particularly marijuana.

CEO Liz Jackson-Simpson hired Angela White also a woman of color, to manage the Equity for Industry Program in order to address inequity issues. Equity for Industry Program offers workshops, job shops, and resume assistance for people who are looking to change careers.

Getting a job in the Cannabis industry is tough especially for those with criminal records. There are thousands of people looking for jobs and fewer than 100 companies to employ them. This is where Equity for Industry Program job shops come into play; they help match employers with prospective candidates of the cannabis community. The program also helps those looking to enter the cannabis industry find out about job opportunities from companies around the Bay Area.

The Equity for Industry Workshop is an event that will help you become a successful entrepreneur and show you the doors to enter the cannabis industry. At this workshop, you will learn how to grow your own business from the ground up and find out more about the cannabis industry. The informative sessions offered at the workshop are specifically tailored for equity applicants, small business start-ups, and job seekers so that all participants can benefit from them.

Angela White

In the cannabis industry, many job seekers are unable to find work because they don’t have the skills necessary for today’s new jobs. The best way to solve this problem is through providing resume assistance and training for these individuals. This will help them get hired at one of the cannabis companies that are expanding rapidly in San Francisco.

Equity for Industry Program resume clinic offers one-on-one resume assistance with cannabis job seekers in need of help with their resumes. This service helps them get from application to interview by making sure that they have all of the right information on hand when looking for work in this growing field.

The opportunity for marginalized communities to have a chance at success in the cannabis industry was strengthened when Liz and Angela became the leaders of Equity for Industry. Both have been fighting back against inequality every step along that way, and now they’re making sure more people who would not otherwise get a chance are successful.

Author Bio: John Dyer is a content developer, blogger and online marketer. He has extensive experience in copywriting and marketing communications for the insurance sector including health, life and annuity plans. John provides solutions to ensure that your business reaches its full potential. 

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