April 15, 2022

20 Black-owned Michigan cannabis companies you should support

African Americans — one of the groups that have been harmed the most by the War on Drugs — remain underrepresented in Michigan's new legal cannabis industry.

In 2020, only 4% of the respondents of a survey of cannabis license holders conducted by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs identified as Black, though the group makes up 14% of the state’s population. High start-up costs are to blame for limiting who can enter the industry, though some municipalities have social equity programs that offer reduced fees for minority groups, as well as for people with previous drug offenses.

Meanwhile, Detroit, the biggest Black city in the country, stepped into the recreational marijuana game pretty late, recently approving an ordinance for its use. Despite the challenges, these Black Michiganders are helping to shift what the cannabis industry looks like, one bud at a time. —Lee DeVito, Alex Washington, and Jerilyn Jordan

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Premiere Provisions
710 Perry Ave., Big Rapids; 231-629-8188; premiereprovisionsbr.com
It's a family affair: Premiere Provisions is owned by Kenneth Bryant Jr and son his Aaron, with his other son Kenneth Bryant III serving as the store's purchase manager. The business started in 2017 in Ann Arbor, but soon moved to Big Rapids, where they now offer medical and recreational pot. "We like to think of ourselves more like a Foot Locker," Kenneth Bryant III says. "Everybody else is trying to be Nike, they want to manufacture their own stuff, but we want to bring in all the coolest brands into one store."
Photo courtesy of Premiere Provisions

Premiere Provisions

710 Perry Ave., Big Rapids; 231-629-8188; premiereprovisionsbr.com

It's a family affair: Premiere Provisions is owned by Kenneth Bryant Jr and son his Aaron, with his other son Kenneth Bryant III serving as the store's purchase manager. The business started in 2017 in Ann Arbor, but soon moved to Big Rapids, where they now offer medical and recreational pot. "We like to think of ourselves more like a Foot Locker," Kenneth Bryant III says. "Everybody else is trying to be Nike, they want to manufacture their own stuff, but we want to bring in all the coolest brands into one store."

Photo courtesy of Premiere Provisions

Calyxeum 
calyxeum.com
Calyxeum is a Black woman-owned medical cannabis growing and processing business in the 7th District on Detroit's west side. Headed by Latoyia Rucker and Rebecca Colett, Calyxeum is creating a minority inclusive space in the cannabis cultivation and processing industry. 
Photo courtesy of Calyxeum

Calyxeum

calyxeum.com

Calyxeum is a Black woman-owned medical cannabis growing and processing business in the 7th District on Detroit's west side. Headed by Latoyia Rucker and Rebecca Colett, Calyxeum is creating a minority inclusive space in the cannabis cultivation and processing industry.

Photo courtesy of Calyxeum
Noble Road
nobleroadco.com
Brandon Riley, co-founder of Nobel Road, says he got into the industry because he noticed there were very few Black people in the edible market. “There's a real shortage, and it's a problem,” he says. What started as an idea on a golf course became a reality thanks to Riley’s experience in hospitality and his partner’s experience in beverage service. Together, they have come to offer cannabis-infused cookies, with flavors including peanut butter, chocolate chip, and molasses, as well as gummies and distillates, out of a historic bakery in Lansing. But Riley says Noble Road wasn’t necessarily an easy road, adding that he and his partner “bootstrapped the whole thing” without much seed money. He says that not having access to capital is what keeps the cannabis industry from being more inclusive. “It's a very capital-intensive industry,” he says. “And if you don't have those relationships, that's the first biggest hurdle.” Noble Roads offers its products in dozens of metro Detroit dispensaries and will roll out seasonal flavors for the holidays, like pumpkin, candy cane, and sugar cookies.
Photo via Brandon Riley

Noble Road

nobleroadco.com

Brandon Riley, co-founder of Nobel Road, says he got into the industry because he noticed there were very few Black people in the edible market. “There's a real shortage, and it's a problem,” he says. What started as an idea on a golf course became a reality thanks to Riley’s experience in hospitality and his partner’s experience in beverage service. Together, they have come to offer cannabis-infused cookies, with flavors including peanut butter, chocolate chip, and molasses, as well as gummies and distillates, out of a historic bakery in Lansing. But Riley says Noble Road wasn’t necessarily an easy road, adding that he and his partner “bootstrapped the whole thing” without much seed money. He says that not having access to capital is what keeps the cannabis industry from being more inclusive. “It's a very capital-intensive industry,” he says. “And if you don't have those relationships, that's the first biggest hurdle.” Noble Roads offers its products in dozens of metro Detroit dispensaries and will roll out seasonal flavors for the holidays, like pumpkin, candy cane, and sugar cookies.

Photo via Brandon Riley

Funky Extracts
pincanna.com
When Detroit native Jujuan "Funk" Coleman came up with a logo for his cannabis company Funky Extracts, he picked a smelly sock. "When you speak of cannabis, 'funk' is good," he says. "So I correlated 'funk' with the quality of our products." Coleman doesn't shy away from the, let's say, dank aspect of marijuana. Once he started making cannabis-infused gummies, he decided to use full spectrum cannabis oil as opposed to a cannabis oil distillate. That means his gummies have more of a cannabis taste, but the effects last longer. Made with a partnership with Farmington Hills-based Pincanna at their facility in Pinconning, the products are available only for medical marijuana customers for now. His initial offerings include fruit punch, orange, green apple strawberry, and grape flavors, with more on the way, "but I want to save the best for last," he says. For now, his products are carried at Gage Cannabis Co. stores across the state, at the Pincanna Market in Kalkaska, and Green Genie and Green Pharm in Detroit.
Photo via Funky Extracts

Funky Extracts

pincanna.com

When Detroit native Jujuan "Funk" Coleman came up with a logo for his cannabis company Funky Extracts, he picked a smelly sock. "When you speak of cannabis, 'funk' is good," he says. "So I correlated 'funk' with the quality of our products." Coleman doesn't shy away from the, let's say, dank aspect of marijuana. Once he started making cannabis-infused gummies, he decided to use full spectrum cannabis oil as opposed to a cannabis oil distillate. That means his gummies have more of a cannabis taste, but the effects last longer. Made with a partnership with Farmington Hills-based Pincanna at their facility in Pinconning, the products are available only for medical marijuana customers for now. His initial offerings include fruit punch, orange, green apple strawberry, and grape flavors, with more on the way, "but I want to save the best for last," he says. For now, his products are carried at Gage Cannabis Co. stores across the state, at the Pincanna Market in Kalkaska, and Green Genie and Green Pharm in Detroit.

Photo via Funky Extracts

Midwest CannaNurses
mcn.health
MIdwest CannaNurses helps bridge the gap between healthcare and cannabis. Founded by nurses Biyya A. Lee and Ebony Smith, a Detroiter, Midwest CannaNurses aims to help promote safe and effective plant-based therapy in more diverse communities. The CannaNurses are advocates for the de-stigmatization of cannabis in urban communities and communities of color.
Photo via Midwest CannaNurses/Instagram

Midwest CannaNurses

mcn.health

MIdwest CannaNurses helps bridge the gap between healthcare and cannabis. Founded by nurses Biyya A. Lee and Ebony Smith, a Detroiter, Midwest CannaNurses aims to help promote safe and effective plant-based therapy in more diverse communities. The CannaNurses are advocates for the de-stigmatization of cannabis in urban communities and communities of color.

Photo via Midwest CannaNurses/Instagram
Mother of Green
motherofgreen.com 
Mother of Green is a cannabis lifestyle beauty brand founded by native Detroiter Sydney Bowden. Mother of Green currently offers full-spectrum CBD products including body butters, lip balms, and topical roll-on oils. Bowden is committed to de-stigmatizing marijuana use and normalizing cannabis use among women and minority communities. 
Photo via  Mother of Green/Instagram

Mother of Green

motherofgreen.com

Mother of Green is a cannabis lifestyle beauty brand founded by native Detroiter Sydney Bowden. Mother of Green currently offers full-spectrum CBD products including body butters, lip balms, and topical roll-on oils. Bowden is committed to de-stigmatizing marijuana use and normalizing cannabis use among women and minority communities.

Photo via Mother of Green/Instagram
Icewood Platinum Rose 
Lil’ Blade, the son of late Detroit rapper Blade Icewood, partnered with HYMAN Cannabis to produce a strain in honor of his father. The strain, Platinum Rose, is the first step in what Lil’ Blade says is his way of cementing Blade Icewood’s legacy and developing Icewood as a brand. 
The strain is available at a variety of local dispensaries and a complete list can be found here.
Photo courtesy of Sxrreal and HYMAN Cannabis

Icewood Platinum Rose



Lil’ Blade, the son of late Detroit rapper Blade Icewood, partnered with HYMAN Cannabis to produce a strain in honor of his father. The strain, Platinum Rose, is the first step in what Lil’ Blade says is his way of cementing Blade Icewood’s legacy and developing Icewood as a brand.

The strain is available at a variety of local dispensaries and a complete list can be found here.

Photo courtesy of Sxrreal and HYMAN Cannabis
Michigan Agricultural Services
michagricultural.org
Michigan Agricultural Services is dedicated to the development and cultivation of cannabis in Michigan. It broke ground last spring on a $6 million growing and processing facility in Inkster. The facility, located at 2615 Bayhan, will operate as both a medical and recreational cannabis facility.
Photo via  Michigan Agricultural Services / Instagram

Michigan Agricultural Services

michagricultural.org

Michigan Agricultural Services is dedicated to the development and cultivation of cannabis in Michigan. It broke ground last spring on a $6 million growing and processing facility in Inkster. The facility, located at 2615 Bayhan, will operate as both a medical and recreational cannabis facility.

Photo via Michigan Agricultural Services / Instagram
BLK Sapote
blksapote.com/
Blk Sapote is a no-smoke cannabis experience that uses hemp teas, and aims to expand the traditional thinking around cannabis use. The brand was founded by childhood friends,  Ashley Parks and Courtnie Pierce, and works to curate experiences and provide a luxurious cannabis experience to members of their “High Tribe.”
Photo via  BLK Sapote / Instagram

BLK Sapote

blksapote.com/

Blk Sapote is a no-smoke cannabis experience that uses hemp teas, and aims to expand the traditional thinking around cannabis use. The brand was founded by childhood friends, Ashley Parks and Courtnie Pierce, and works to curate experiences and provide a luxurious cannabis experience to members of their “High Tribe.”

Photo via BLK Sapote / Instagram
1st Quality Medz
286 Burke St., River Rouge; 313-406-4688; firstqualitymeds.com
Vertra Stephens, owner of 1st Quality Medz in River Rouge, was the first to open a recreational dispensary in Wayne County — Michigan’s most populous county. Stephens is CEO of PTN Group, which operates the dispensary and a cultivation center. Upon opening, she says the demand for recreational marijuana was high, and her dispensary services more recreational customers than medical ones. “There’s a very strong demand,” Stephens says. “We have some great products here. I am a proponent of natural products.” Offering both a medical and recreational menu, 1st Quality Medz has a variety of flower, edibles, tinctures, and concentrates.
Photo via 1st Quality Medz

1st Quality Medz

286 Burke St., River Rouge; 313-406-4688; firstqualitymeds.com

Vertra Stephens, owner of 1st Quality Medz in River Rouge, was the first to open a recreational dispensary in Wayne County — Michigan’s most populous county. Stephens is CEO of PTN Group, which operates the dispensary and a cultivation center. Upon opening, she says the demand for recreational marijuana was high, and her dispensary services more recreational customers than medical ones. “There’s a very strong demand,” Stephens says. “We have some great products here. I am a proponent of natural products.” Offering both a medical and recreational menu, 1st Quality Medz has a variety of flower, edibles, tinctures, and concentrates.

Photo via 1st Quality Medz