Photo Credit: Legal Greens
Meet The Haitian Woman Behind First Black-Woman Owned Dispensary On East Coast
It’s 2021, and we are celebrating the first Black woman-owned dispensary on the East Coast. While recreational marijuana hasn’t been legal very long, Jessica Jean-Baptise— a Haitian-American woman— recently opened a shop in Brockton, Massachusetts.
The journey has not been easy for Jean-Bapitise by any means.
“The process to opening a dispensary started in 2015,” she told Travel Noire. “Around that time, medical marijuana clinics were on the rise. But, you needed about half a million dollars to get started. So, my partner and I decided to wait until recreational marijuana was legal, because it was more affordable.”
Vanessa has always been fascinated with cannabis and uses it herself, so it was only fitting that she start a business in the indsutry too.
She was chosen for a very selective economic empowerment initiative through the state of Massachusetts. Under old leadership, the process was very difficult. But, now with a Black mayor in office, the pathway became more feasible. Essentially, the contract allows a marijuana business to open and generate tax revenue for the state.
Legal Greens officially opened this month, and the name is a play on words.
“One of my partners is a lawyer, so it made sense.”
Inside, you’ll be welcomed by a super chill vibe. To get in, you have to ring a bell and show ID before entering the main reception area. Once verified a second time, you can access the showroom floor. But, don’t expect to see walls filled with pre-rolls and gummies. Vanessa keeps everything in the back until you select from the menu.
The dispensary sells cannabis products, accessories, and even apparel from the store’s brand as well as local vendors.
Thoughts on being first Black woman on East Coast
“I want to see more people like me in this industry,” Jean-Baptiste stated. “I want to show that while it won’t be easy, it can be done. We’re still working to be fully recognized by the city. It’s been tough, but that doesn’t hinder us. We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Legal Green is just 15-minutes outside of Boston. If you can’t make it to the area, online ordering will soon be available.
To learn more visit: legalgreens.net.