Cambridge dispensary catering to women, LGBTQ customers to open this fall – Axios

Leah Samura’s mission is to sell cannabis to your friends, parents and grandparents. Photo courtesy of Leah Samura

Harvard Square’s first cannabis dispensary — and its first Black-woman-owned business — is on track to open in September, CEO Leah Samura tells Axios.

Driving the news: Yamba Boutique is undergoing architectural review as Samura prepares for its opening.

It would be the city’s second dispensary. Central Square’s Yamba Market — owned by Samura’s husband, Sieh, and their business partner, Sean Hope — was the first.

Why it matters: The state’s fast-growing cannabis industry remains predominantly white and male, with Black and brown entrepreneurs mostly shut out of financing and commercial real estate opportunities.

The state has an application process for license holders who were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, or who live in communities affected by it. But those applicants often wait years to get approved for a cannabis license while paying rent on empty storefronts, as the Samuras and Hope have.

Zoom out: Massachusetts businesses collectively surpassed $3 billion in gross recreational cannabis sales in May, less than a year after hitting the $2 billion mark.

The state collected more than $112 million in excise tax revenue from recreational cannabis sales in 2021 — more

Read More Here...