Since the liberalization of cannabis for recreational use in the United States, the sector has seen the study participation of blacks in the field, who cut across various social strata. The latest black entrepreneur to make moves in the multi-billion dollar industry is the founder of Fourtwenty Collections, Marvina Thomas.
The company is a BIPOC-owned, Arizona-based cannabis company consisting of CBD skincare, THC, and CBD-infused edibles, which recently acquired a vertically integrated medical dispensary license in Safford, Arizona, EIN Presswire reported.
The acquisition makes her the first black woman to own and operate a cannabis dispensary in Arizona. In addition to her latest acquisition, she owns a license in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which also makes her one of the first black women to become a multi-state operator (MSO).
“It has always been my dream to become the first black women-owned, Arizona dispensary. We are excited to inspire others to reach for the stars and have made history with our acquisition of the Safford license. We look forward to becoming a part of the community there,” Thomas said in a press statement.
She first entered the cannabis industry in 2016 with the launch of a bar of CBD-infused soap. Since then, she has expanded her empire with a full line of THC- and CBD-infused products.
She launched her first dispensary and manufacturing facility in 2022, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. To start her dispensary plant, she depended on savings as a former nurse, a formant mostly used by black entrepreneurs due to lack of access to capital.
“It was extremely important to me to follow my dream and not be beholden to investors,” she said.
According to available statistics, black women in the cannabis industry account for only two percent of the nation’s cannabis businesses and only 20 percent of cannabis businesses are owned by women.
However, Thomas says she never allowed these statistics to deter her when she first decided to make moves in the sector.
“I founded my business with a bar of soap to help a friend with a skin condition. To this day, I make it my mission to help others, and that has been the key to my personal and professional success,” she said.
The cannabis industry in the United States is estimated to pomp up to $130 billion on an annual basis into the economy by 2024, according to Marijuana Business Factbook.
The Marijuana Business Factbook further estimates that legal cannabis sales will increase from $38 billion-$46 billion in 2019 to $106 billion-$130 billion by 2024, projecting a 181% increase. Also, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the $130 billion figure is similar to the 2019 gross domestic product of Nebraska’s $129 billion.