It’s a good weekend to be in Los Angeles — especially if you’ve come to embrace the benefits of cannabis!
We’re excited to celebrate the grand opening of the first of 21 locations of Sixty Four & Hope — a new dispensary concept that sets out to put the power of ownership in cannabis industry into the hands of Black and Brown people.
Aja Allen is a social equity licensee from South LA and owner-operator of Sixty Four & Hope, Mid-City. Allen owns store one in Mid-City and will host its grand opening on November 6th and 7th.
A former luxury retail General Manager with years of experience managing high-volume brands, Allen is one of a handful of women of color opening a cannabis store through the social equity program and one of the first LGBTQ+ owners in Los Angeles. Allen will be the first of 21 social equity licensees who will be owner-operators of Sixty Four & Hope branded cannabis stores across Los Angeles, giving the social equity-powered brand the largest footprint in California. Like many who qualified, Allen, a young woman from the Jungles near Crenshaw and MLK, saw it as a chance to uplift her life and the LGBTQ and South LA communities to which she belongs.
“I grew up in an overpoliced area; family members and friends went to jail for cannabis offenses,” Allen said via statement. “For me, it’s not just about getting the opportunity; it’s about what I do with it once I’ve got it. I want to reinvest and positively impact my community. I have people from my neighborhood that look up to me.”
Beyond the store owners, Sixty Four & Hope lives its ideals by hiring people of color at all levels. From its locally sourced employees (each location will create 30-40 jobs with benefits) to lawyers, contractors, and service providers. Including the social equity and underrepresented cannabis brands it chooses to carry and highlight, providing them with a platform to grow. This ethos, coupled with a respect for the plant and culture, opened the door to diverse collaborations that strive for authenticity, including Angela Rye, the newly launched RNBW and Insomniac collaboration, Alien Labs, Connected, and Talking Terps.
Named after Prop 64, which legalized cannabis in California along with the HOPE for a more equitable storytelling platform and an exension of social equity, Sixty Four & Hope helps provide opportunities for ownership among the Black and Brown communities.
Investors in the brand include Queen Latifah, Nas, Anthony Selah, Troy Carter and Julius “J” Erving III, who see their support as a well-spent investment in communities of color. $19MM was raised to provide all 21 social equity licensees with an average of $1.5MM in financing and resources to run a thriving cannabis business – at no upfront cost to them.
The brand is scheduled to open all 21 singularly branded sites by the Summer of 2023. Store two in the Melrose District, owned by Rhavin L., and three in West Los Angeles, owned by Wally Knott III will open in December 2021.
Anyone who knows anything about the growing legal cannabis business knows that the barriers to entry are (no pun intended) HIGH. What Sixty Four & Hope is doing is incredible. It’s beautiful to see Black and Brown entrepreneurship FLOWERING right?
If you’re interested in visiting Sixty Four & Hope, Mid-City this weekend the address and phone number are below along with the website and social media handle:
2000 S. La Cienega Los Angeles, CA 90034
https://www.sixtyfourandhope.com | @sixtyfourandhope