We started in a closet. Created because we did not see ourselves reflected in the regulated cannabis industry, as people of color, women, queer people, disabled, veterans, formerly incarcerated and people with chronic illnesses. We started in Oakland thinking we’d serve a few hundred of our collective friends – but we quickly developed a loyal, diverse and active client base reaching our apex over 4500 unique clients. In 2018, with the advent of California Prop 64 which created the regulated, recreational market, we decided to move from the informal market into the regulated market. It has been a WILD RIDE, fraught with heartache and hope, disappointment and dreams, trials and triumphs. It is important to know the cannabis industry is exponentially more difficult if you are a person of color. But we MUST persist because this industry belongs to all of us and should be a mirror of the communities who created an industry and marketplace in spite of the threat of incarceration and in some cases death.
It was with this lens that we began building a company in the regulated cannabis industry. The communities we served and continue to serve make up the largest segment of this industry are still not being reflected in the new, regulated cannabis market.
Here is what we know:
- Communities that surround the dispensary create the most value for our company.
- Communities that know we are invested in their wellness and health are our best brand ambassadors.
- Communities that see us providing workforce development and workforce opportunities will invest in our success because we are invested in theirs.
- Communities that buy from us understand our commitment to them.
We persist because of our collective communities. In 2019 we were forced to close our Oakland dispensary due to Prop 64. We applied for a brick & mortar general license in Oakland and were number 6th on the list, they took the first four. We were up against some of the largest and most well funded companies in the industry flanked by a plethora of consultants to write their applications. We wrote out own and while we were disappointed to not receive a license we pivoted, applied and were awarded a dispensary delivery license for the State of California. Additionally, in 2019, we purchased an existing and operating dispensary in Portland, OR. We are currently working on purchasing several additional dispensaries throughout the US, as we continue to pivot from applying for licenses and hoping we get them, to purchase existing dispensaries with licenses so we don't waste money on applications.
The cannabis industry is projected to become a $500 billion global market. The People’s Dispensary takes this unique opportunity to bring the best cannabis to its communities, financial wealth to its investors and create many opportunities to uplift the communities it serves.
We are small, but mighty. We hope you will join us.
The Co-Founders of The People's Dispensary
CHARLEEN CAABAY, CO-FOUNDER INSIDE OUR PORTLAND STORE