Amid a seemingly endless series of delays, Britteney Kapri finally got some good news last month.
Baked, her cannabis startup, had been named the winner of a dispensary license in a sought-after region that covers Chicago.
But instead of feeling joy, or even relief, Kapri fell into a state of panic as she reflected on the latest hurdle stymying the licensing process: a court order that remains intact had blocked the issuance of her permit and 184 others.
“I was just like, don’t let it be another year of waiting,” she said. “So I haven’t actually celebrated.”
Like other Black entrepreneurs from Chicago who were named license winners over the course of three recent lotteries, Kapri has been subjected to a bureaucratic nightmare while pursuing her dream of carving out a stake in the white-dominated weed industry. It’s all taken a serious toll.
After leaving her job at a nonprofit in hopes of fully immersing herself in the cannabis business, she became unemployed in January and only started working again recently.
“It’s definitely bled into my personal life,” said Kapri, who’s also a renowned poet. “It’s led to me being just stuck between a rock