The City Pulse has a great article from Lucas Henkel that looks at how Rebecca Colett & the Detroit Cannabis Project are working to make the Michigan marijuana market more equitable:
According to a report by MJBizDaily in 2021, of the 484 dispensary licenses in Michigan, 3.8% of those licenses are held by Black Michiganders. Only a handful of those licensed cannabis businesses in Michigan are owned by Black women.
Rebecca Colett and LaToyia R. Rucker, co-owners of the Detroit-based cannabis brand Calyxeum, are looking to be more than just another statistic. Colett’s background in business and finance, combined with Rucker’s experience as a master gardener and biologist, has made Calyxeum’s offerings some of the best in the state — but the journey has been far from easy.
In a recent interview with Dutchie, Colett described her experience attending business conferences early in her career.
“I started going to these conferences and realizing that there was really nobody that looked like me. And, being a consumer myself, I’m like, ‘This is not the cannabis industry. This is not how it should look,’” she said. “So, I just became really passionate about becoming an operator and increasing diversity from that standpoint in the industry.”
Colett is doing her best to make sure other aspiring Black cannabis entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to be successful. In 2021, she created the Detroit Cannabis Project, an all-inclusive business incubator program that offers a variety of programs to help native Detroiters create successful and sustainable businesses in the cannabis industry. The program is broken down into six sessions where entrepreneurs can speak to different professionals within the industry, such as regulation and licensing attorneys, finance professionals and operations experts. Lessons include creating a business strategy and financial projections, operating advice, community involvement, marketing and more. Once the six sessions are complete, graduating entrepreneurs have access to a one-on-one mentorship program and an online community full of other graduates and professionals.
“Over the last two years, we’ve had about four cohorts within the city of Detroit,” Colett said in a recent phone interview. “I’m really excited about this year’s graduating cohort because we can see them getting the results they want. They’re buying real estate, they’re getting licensed, they’re achieving their goals.”
To keep up with the ever-changing cannabis industry, Colett and other Detroit Cannabis Project organizers value the feedback of their graduates. New courses and offerings are being added to its programming to ensure future students are up-to-date and well-informed. Applications for the upcoming cohort open toward the end of August, and the program starts at the end of September. The program also offers job and community-resource fairs throughout Detroit and has plans to bring the job fair on the road to cities like Lansing in the near future, along with other programming like workforce development, back-to-school events and more.
You can check out upcoming Detroit Cannabis Project events this summer in Detroit, Flint & Saginaw on the Michigan Cannabis Calendar and head over to the City Pulse to read about how the team at Calyxeum is providing organic and responsibly cultivated products like pre-packaged flower, concentrates, edibles, hash and CBD oil to its Michigan consumers!
photo via Calyxeum_Detroit on Instagram.