The First African American Woman To Own A Marijuana Dispensary In Colorado
Today on Blunt Business we are happy to speak with the first African American woman to own a marijuana dispensary in Colorado. We are talking with Cannabis Activist and Entrepreneur Wanda James was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis by High Times magazine in 2018, one of the 2016 Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry, and has earned her a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Cannabis Business Awards for her role in the commercial rise of the plant. James was a former lieutenant in the United States Navy, where some of her duties included tracking submarines. She also was a political campaign manager. She ran Colorado representative Jared Polis’s first campaign and ran the 2006 congressional race in Colorado Springs, Colorado for Lieutenant Colonel Jay Fawcett.
She worked on former President Barack Obama’s 2008 National Finance Committee. She also worked to get sentences dropped for people in jail for cannabis possession. She worked on Colorado governor John Hickenlooper’s task force for Colorado’s Amendment 64. She was previously appointed to the Los Angeles Small and Local Business Commission. She has also served on the board of directors of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce. She decided to get into the cannabis industry after her brother was given a 10-year prison sentence for marijuana possession. Prior to opening a dispensary, she owned restaurants with her husband in Los Angeles and Denver. When she opened a dispensary in 2009 with her husband, she became the first black dispensary owner in Colorado. The business was closed in 2012 but reopened in 2016. She is a managing partner at the Cannabis Global Initiative.