A Black Woman’s Mission To Make Washington D.C. The Capital Of Cannabis – Forbes

Anacostia Organics’ Linda Mercado Greene is creating a new model for cannabis ownership and inspiring others along the way.

If you’re looking for cannabis in Washington D.C., most local residents will tell you to visit Linda Mercado Greene’s dispensary called Anacostia Organics. Mercado Greene is a fixture at the medical cannabis dispensary she owns and operates in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood. Along with being one of the first Black women to own a medical cannabis dispensary east of the Anacostia River, Mercado Greene is also a leading voice on the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia.

According to 2018 FBI data, drug-related violations were the most frequent reason for arrest in the United States. Marijuana possession alone accounts for nearly 40 percent of those arrests. Black people make up just more than 13 percent of the country, yet they account for 27 percent of the drug arrests.

“The weed industry is still a white men’s business. And thanks to organizations like the Minority Cannabis Business Association and because of so many social justice campaigns that are coming to light there are more Black owners and operators entering the cannabis industry” said Mercado Greene. “Yet, there are still very few of us that own 100 percent of our licenses. Equity and diversity in this industry are a real big problem, and that is what we must continue to fight towards.” 

In 2010, the District of Columbia became the second state/territory in the United States to legalize medical marijuana, allowing for the operation of just one medical cannabis dispensary in each of the city’s eight wards. 

However, this legalization didn’t come without some rather extensive strings. Not only were dispensary license holders required to have 100 percent community buy-in along with elaborate security and staffing plans prior to applying for one of the coveted eight city

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