Female business owners look to expand into marijuana business

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As New York prepares to start issuing licenses for legal marijuana shops, it has promised to prioritize female and minority business owners.

Nhi Kha has a very personal connection to cannabis.

“Really watching my father go through cancer and seeing how cannabis had a real positive impact on him but how inaccessible it was,” she told News10NBC.

That’s why she opened Sativa Remedy in 2018. She’s been selling CBD products but her intention has always been to expand into THC.

“What I hope to do is to continue to provide safe, potent and affordable access to this god-given plant,” Kha added.

To do that, she’s hoping to secure a license from New York State as soon as possible.

“For myself as a minority women-owned business to have that opportunity to enter into the cannabis industry early would be amazing,” she said.

Shaina St. John currently works at a local medical marijuana dispensary.

“As it becomes recreationally legal, I would like to educate the community, my community, people of color,” she told News10NBC, “in order to get to me at the dispensary, you have to have a card, a license and a certification to come in, what about the rest of the community that can’t afford to go see a doctor right now but they know they’re in pain and need help so I would like to bridge the gap.”

To do that, St. John recently started a “Women in Cannabis” podcast. She’s also planning to take her advocacy to the streets.

“I thought about the churches, I literally want to talk into the community, I actually just connected with a barber, I’m going to walk into his barbershop and after he cuts hair, I would like to offer consultations to my community, so I’m literarily going to be a solider out there marching,” she said.

Both Kha and St. John are trying to ensure those who’ve been hit the hardest by the criminalization of marijuana are able to enter the legal market if they so choose and those who want to legally buy the products, have easy access to do it.