At age 29, Maryland native Hope Wiseman is the youngest Black woman to own a marijuana dispensary in the U.S. Determined to break barriers in the cannabis industry, as well as within her community, and provide an opportunity to show others how to create generational wealth, Wiseman founded Mary and Main, a dispensary located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The dispensary is not only a place for people to purchase medical cannabis, but a space to learn about the plant and become educated about efforts to end the “war on drugs” that has disproportionately affected minority communities.
“Mary and Main is truly a product of love and family,” Wiseman told CBS News.
Founded by Wiseman, her mother, Dr. Octavia Simkins-Wiseman, and close family friend Dr. Larry Bryant, Mary and Main is a family enterprise. With 20 years of experience in dentistry each, Dr. Wiseman and Dr. Bryant now also seek to use cannabis to improve the lives of those suffering from debilitating illnesses.
As for Wiseman, she spent one year at SunTrust as an equity institutional sales analyst before leaving to pursue her dreams of entrepreneurship, utilizing her financial background and passion to serve her community to start the dispensary. Through extensive research, Wiseman realized the economic potential of cannabis cultivation. She also understood the cultural impact she could make by profiting off something that has so often resulted in people who look like her being incarcerated.
Medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland in 2014. That same year, Wiseman began the process of starting her own dispensary, which included fundraising and obtaining a license to sell medical cannabis. Four years later, and one year after the state’s broader medical marijuana apparatus was finally in operation, Mary and Main was up and running.
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