Inside these LA dispensaries, Black women are redesigning what cannabis culture looks like – The Guardian

Inside these LA dispensaries, Black women are redesigning what cannabis culture looks like

A focus on open, inviting and community-centric interiors aims at appealing to a broad range of Black customers, including elders

When Kika Keith and her daughter opened a cannabis dispensary in South Central Los Angeles last year, they faced a design challenge: how could they create a store where older Black customers, who had seen all the ravages of the “war on drugs”, would feel comfortable making a purchase?

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It had been a tough battle for Keith to open a dispensary as a Black woman, in a post-legalized marijuana market where most of the business owners had become white men. She and her daughter, Kika Howze, wanted their store, Gorilla Rx Wellness Co, to reflect their focus on neighborhood investment and their hip-hop aesthetic.

But they didn’t want to emulate the sleek hip-hop branding of youth-focused cannabis companies like Cookies or Stiizy, the kind of “shiny” dispensaries that had “music videos playing with girls’ breasts out”, as Keith put

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