Meet entrepreneur Payton Shubrick, CEO and founder of 6 Brick’s dispensary shop. The adult-use cannabis shop focuses on selling cannabis and cannabis products like macaroons and infused ice cream and seltzer drinks.
She coined the name “6 Bricks” of her last name, Shubrick. She is also has six members of her family who are also helping her manage the enterprise.
At 29, Shubrick is the first black and the first female in Massachusetts to become a licensed cannabis company. The company, which is family owned and operated, make up 1.7 percent of the black businesses involved in the cannabis industry.
According to her, she decided to bring the business to Springfield because it bore the brunt of the drug war. She got to know this through Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow. She gained a better understanding of how it affected urban communities like Springfield, MA.
Shubrick saw the cannabis industry as a way to engage with Springfield and succeed in business as well. “It’s important to us to bring the cannabis business and the opportunities into a community, like Springfield, that bore the brunt of the drug war.” She told MassLive.
Prior to launching 6 Brick’s, Payton discussed her business plan with her dad. She feared that her father may not want to associate himself with her business. Not only did her father buy into the idea, he also became her biggest supporter. Eventually, he become the company’s chief procurement officer.
For Shubrick, 6 Brick’s is not only a business entity. It is a way to keep in mind the fraught history of how cannabis possession disproportionately affected people of colour.
“We’re acknowledging a checkered history, but we’re trying to progress forward with an inclusive future,” Shubrick said. “We understand what happened and we want to create something new here for those that were both impacted positively or negatively and to progress forward with that understanding.”
The journey to becoming the first black woman to open a marijuana business in Western Massachusetts was not all smooth sailing, espite Massachusetts being the first state in the country to mandate that equity and inclusion be part of its legal cannabis framework.
Payton was faced with multiple challenges. First being lack of funds and then came the pandemic. She could not open until 2020.
“The licensure process is not designed in a way that allows many folks who are in similar positions to myself, newly graduated, figuring out what you want to be in life, to really engage with the process without being intentional and deliberate about wanting to get it done,” Shubrick said, according to NEPM.
“When you think about the dollars and cents, you’re talking anywhere between $1.5 to $3 million for a retail license, and that’s just retail. If you’re looking at communities like the city of Springfield and taking into consideration the average annual household income, these are not dollars and cents that anyone takes on lightly. “