The cannabis industry has proven to be a more profitable business as more and more states institute legislation to legalize recreational and medical cannabis use. Additionally, the lingering effects of the War On Drugs-era and racism still present themselves as obstacles for people of color looking to enter this market. However, one entrepreneur isn’t letting that stand in her way.
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Jacquece Jennings, owner of Nuleaf #1, is the first Black woman in Georgia to own a CBD company. While living in Seattle, Jennings studied the marijuana industry closely hoping to one day become a dispensary owner. This venture wasn’t without its challenges. Trying to navigate within the business as a Black woman proved to be tough at times, mostly with trust.
“I pride myself on possessing knowledge within the CBD industry and at times I am faced with challenges because of who I am. I have had individuals say, ‘Wow, are you sure you are the owner?'” Jennings told Black Enterprise. “I have learned not to take it personal, but continue to focus on delivering information and building value around my background as well as my personal connections around CBD.”
In addition to the backlash she received in the industry, she also faced financial hardships that almost prevented her from getting into the business. In 2015, Jennings developed a pituitary gland tumor, to which she started researching organic CBD products to help with treatment.
“That’s when my life completely changed,” Jennings said. “I was that individual looking for authentic CBD products to help me with my medical issues. I have a passion for assisting people with their healing journey, I relate to so many people because I know what it feels like to have a medical scare and I want people to understand the value of CBD and how it can change lives. So, it was a no-brainer to start my business journey with CBD.”
The Roswell, GA-based company specializes in premium organic and vegan CBD products. Some of the company’s items range from CBD-infused pain creams, tinctures/oils and skincare applicants to pet products.
According to Jennings, CBD has been a lifesaver and key element to her healing. As the company continues to expand, Jennings is developing plans for a partnership program that will allow her to open up more stores and start offering THC-infused products.
The ever-changing atmosphere in the cannabis industry is allowing more and more individuals to become entrepreneurs and build their own wealth.
“Those working corporate jobs who are always busy and multi-tasking, it helps them to stay focused. You even have kids in school who take CBD because they have anxiety or are depressed. CBD is life-changing and I am on a mission to build awareness,” Jennings said.