Growing up, San Francisco’s first Black dispensary owner Shawn Richard sold marijuana on the streets of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. He was far from the first person to do so. The Haight gave birth to the 1960s hippie movement and cannabis has long been a cornerstone of the area’s culture.
But now, on December 21, Richard will open the doors of Berner on Haight, the neighborhood’s very first legal marijuana dispensary.
Speaking of pioneer moves, Richard is also the city’s first business owner to emerge from its cannabis equity program. His success is an encouraging sign that San Francisco is taking some action to reverse the long-running injustices of the Drug War, and in so doing, support a Black community that has dwindled dramatically over the last decade.
“This is going to be a store like no other store,” Richard told High Times in a phone interview. “It’s going to be real up to date, real modern, but it gives you that Haight Street feeling when you walk in.”
Richard is partnering with San Francisco-born rapper Cookies a.k.a. Gilbert Milam, already a cannabis industry pro who opened his fifth eponymous marijuana store earlier this month in Oakland. But the two