By: Veronica Castillo “Born from a call to action to see people of color have a seat at the cannabis table”- CEO, RT A black man with a vision for his community, RT, is the sole founder and CEO of Homie Cannabis- a company that turned a corporate no, into an independent yes. RT, […]
By: Veronica Castillo
“Born from a call to action to see people of color have a seat at the cannabis table”- CEO, RT
A black man with a vision for his community, RT, is the sole founder and CEO of Homie Cannabis- a company that turned a corporate no, into an independent yes. RT, says:
“Homie Cannabis is more than a brand, it’s a platform to capture the consciousness of the cannabis culture. I wanted a brand that would target a particular niche, and bring a new level of cultural engagement, strategy, and image to cannabis.”
When I was asked to profile Homie Cannabis, I knew that I’d be profiling a black owned company. And the name…I love it! Many would assume that I am playing into the stereotypical b.s, but consider this: how many black owned companies are there in the cannabis industry? Wouldn’t it be great to know that a company is black owned based on its name? Especially if you are looking to buy black?
The term “homie” doesn’t belong to black people, but it was birthed by black culture. When I asked RT about the birth of the company name, he explained:
“The ‘Homie’ name was carefully selected to identify a term that crosses ethnic, geographical, and economic lines. When someone refers to another as their homie, it is a term of endearment. Homie Cannabis reflects that warm embrace extended when we greet one another, and when we refer to someone we really like! My goal is to change the vernacular of what describes cannabis, pot, marijuana, weed, or reefer, to homie. When you say: ‘I got some homie’, ‘bought some homie’, or ‘enjoyed some homie’, it’s understood among users and non-consumers what you mean.”
Homie Cannabis: Mission, Purpose, and Goals
On a mission for communities of color, who are not seen enough in this industry (and many), Homie Cannabis offers products of the people- by the people- for the people. Their mission is to capture the consciousness of the cannabis culture from cultivation, production, distribution, retail and consumers. Their mandate is to enhance the community and enrich the culture by serving notice that people of color belong in the cannabis industry.
RT says: “we seek to move our end users beyond the consumer only model, and have meaningful representation at retail. Our culture wants to see a minority entrepreneur succeed, ones that aren’t rappers as well. Opportunity for entry into the cannabis sector and advancement, must include those who didn’t leverage their fame to get licenses for shelf space!”
Homie Cannabis Journey into the Cannabis Industry
It’s no secret that life in America isn’t lived on equal playing fields. When I asked RT, about the journey into cannabis, he explained:
“The journey has been a real challenge, full of obstacles and hurdles for a black entrepreneur. I’ve utilized my own money in the midst of a pandemic, to provide a quality product and a voice for those who make up a significant part of the consumer base. The true glass ceiling is securing and maintaining a place at retail.
The hardest part of this journey was the initial decision to quit my job and embark on the road to entrepreneurship. Making the decision to use my own funds, and putting together a team along the supply chain to execute the body of work was challenging. But dedication, hard work, discipline and a strong belief in myself and vision has paved the way.
There must be a willingness for dispensaries to purchase and support minority brands. There is a built-in audience waiting to embrace it in this economic and social climate. I’m optimistic that the industry is moving towards a more inclusive business model”.
It takes a village, right? RT shouts out his tribe of people that helped him arrive here:
“I don’t believe in solo superstars. My mentors and partners offer considerable guidance, input, criticism and direction. Frank Hawkins, owner of Nevada Wellness is a key advisor and mentor. Herb Washington, a prominent business and cannabis entrepreneur is also a key advisor and mentor. Dr. David Snipper, MD., is another invaluable cultivation and CBD partner with superb skills in developing high grade strains, and superior herbal products via Euphoria Wellness.”
Homie Cannabis and Business Collaborations
Blk. Water is a beautiful water brand, with water full of fulvic minerals (naturally derived elements that come from decomposed organic matter, providing benefits to the body including boosting the immune system, decreasing inflammation, improving brain function, reducing fatigue, and aiding iron absorption). I absolutely love it!
The fulvic minerals are added to clear water, turning the water black without the need to add any color or dye. Blk. Water contains electrolytes and traces of over 77 minerals found deep in the natural earth. Blk Water is a brand partnership with Homie Cannabis. RT, says:
“The water is a fantastic daily resource for those who work out and especially for those who consume the plant. The minerals, electrolytes, and fulvic minerals help eliminate toxins while rehydrating the body.
Blk. Water Owner and CEO David Bergstein, and I see the value in expanding the consumer target for the brand. I am also handling wholesale business accounts in the Las Vegas market. Bergstein supports Homie Cannabis, and he embraces my culture. I am happy to support Blk. Water and introduce it to a new audience”.
Homie Cannabis Products and Future Plans
Homie Cannabis will launch in Las Vegas first, with plans to expand to other markets. RT, has traveled extensively to LA, Chicago, and Detroit to spread the word about Homie Cannabis to tap into the tourists who purchase cannabis while in Las Vegas.
Homie Cannabis is a true boutique brand that will offer specially selected strains of Indica, Hybrid, Sativa flower and pre-rolls to start. As they scale, the plan is to offer Homie Health & Wellness CBD products in a variety of sku’s.
RT, says: “in 5 years, I want homie cannabis to be a dominant symbol of excellence in product and service for People of Color. A brand that reflects our commitment to be significant players in a multi-billion-dollar industry. We understood our niche and respected their voice and dollars at the register!”