Hope Wiseman is set to become the youngest Black woman to own a cannabis dispensary. It’s a title she earned through her determination, education and hard work. Her Maryland-based dispensary is set to open sometime this month. Here’s what we know about Hope Wiseman and her unique business model.
At the age of 25, Maryland native Hope Wiseman has already had an impressive career, as she detailed in a profile for EstroHaze last month. During the years she studied at Spelman College, she majored in economics and even earned a coveted summer internship on Wall Street. Upon graduating, she landed a job as an investment banker in the Atlanta office of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. She says that her knowledge and experience in the financial world led her to the emerging industry that is legal cannabis.
Like most in the cannabiz, Wiseman took a leap of faith. She started investigating the medical marijuana laws in her home state, and specifically in the county in which she grew up: Prince George’s County. She saw potential and decided to go for it.
Wiseman teamed up with her mother, Dr. Octavia Simpkins-Wiseman—a dentist with an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of business experience. They brought in two other business partners: Dr. Larry Bryan and Dexter Parker.
When Wiseman and Dr. Simpkins-Wiseman came up with the perfect concept, the former got to work to earn her license. The process took three years.
Mary & Main
Hope Wiseman’s dispensary is called Mary & Main. According to her, their business has the distinction of focusing on cannabis education. Specifically, on educating consumers and patients about the human endocannabinoid system. Wiseman also aims to offer a wide variety of premium products, as well as consultations about what products and strains would be appropriate for each client.
In her interview with EstroHaze, Wiseman mentioned that she has partnered up with different organizations, including Women Grow. She said she hopes to collaborate on events with them. In the meantime, she plans to have a soft opening for Mary & Main this month. Her grand opening will likely happen in 2018.
When Mary & Main opens its doors, Hope Wiseman will be the youngest Black woman to own a cannabis dispensary in the United States.
“I feel like I’m a triple minority because I’m a woman, a minority and I’m only 25,” she said. “When I walk into a room by myself and I’m representing our company, they immediately don’t take me seriously. Most of the time I have to prove myself.”
It’s a feeling that may ring familiar to many women in many fields. And although the cannabis industry is reportedly more female-friendly than most industries, it still has a long way to go before the glass (or, rather, grass) ceiling is shattered.
Final Hit: Meet The Youngest Black Woman To Own A Cannabis Dispensary
Despite the challenges that have come with her youth, Wiseman expresses pride in what she has accomplished in such a short time. She acknowledges that the advice of older women in business is valuable. But it can be even more empowering for millennials to see someone in their peer group having so much success.
“My message is: ‘I did it, you can do it, too,” she said.
In addition to opening and running Mary & Main, Wiseman is the founder of Compassionate Herbal Alternative. It’s an organization that gives opportunities for minorities impacted by the war on drugs. She is also slated to appear on the reality TV show WAGS Atlanta.