The average dispensary in Las Vegas pulls in about $2 million in revenue per month, while larger stores have reported up to $10 million in single-month sales. Even in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, legal cannabis statewide in Nevada clocked $789 million in sales. And prospective business owners want in: State-issued licenses have traded hands for as much as $20 million each.
Owning a cannabis company in the Silver State can be an incredibly lucrative endeavor. But for all of the Green Rush’s successes—80 operating dispensaries, 158 grow houses and 110 production facilities—still only one company has a Black woman running the show from the top.
On the remote east side of Sin City, just before houses and roads give way to miles of desert sand, a mom-and-pop-style cannabis store serves thousands of mostly local residents. Top Notch The Health Center, styled as Top Notch THC next to a bright green medical cross on its cream-colored building, welcomes a broad customer base.
Kema Ogden is one of three Top Notch owners and still the only Black woman able to make such a claim in Nevada. Unlike most of her counterparts in the industry, who have sold off their marijuana empires for up to $300 million, Ogden has held onto her dispensary. She’s also still regularly involved in the day-to-day operations.
“We’ve always been focused on being a grassroots company and being a part of the local community,” she said. “The community supports us back, and those relationships that we’ve built over the years really help keep us grounded.”
A former fitness trainer and philanthropist, Ogden would have called you crazy a decade ago if you told her that part of her future would be dealing legal weed. The wife of NFL Hall-of-Famer Jonathan Ogden and mother of two has always had a heart