Flying High with Boston's First Black, Female Dispensary Owner

Jonathan Rose / Sep 21, 2022
hero-graphic-Flying High with Boston's First Black, Female Dispensary Owner
Photo Credit: Provided by Nike John

Nothing about Nike John's journey into cannabis is typical. Here are lessons the social equity licensee has learned along the way.

Nike John's entrepreneurial streak was made evident when she launched her first real estate brokerage in 2015, but she entered a brand new world when she became Boston's first Black woman owner of a cannabis dispensary. And she did it after being encouraged to give it a shot by her mother.

Not your typical cannabis entrepreneurial story — but nothing about Nike's journey is typical.

Her flight club-themed cannabis retail outlet, The Heritage Club in Boston, is moving away from the traditional budtender model and toward a more customer- and education-focused retail experience with clerks called "flight attendants because they help you safely get on and off your flight," Nike told less than an hour after her first sale.

But it hasn't exactly been a turbulence-free journey. As a social equity applicant in Massachusetts' burgeoning cannabis industry, Nike tells Karson about the 1,000 steps she had to take just to open her door, and how her three-year journey through a pandemic and supply-chain issues has shaped her perspective on the industry.

"So the state has about like a 10-step list of what's required to open a shop. The city of Boston has a seven-step list," Nike told Karson in the podcast. "I've calculated over a thousand steps. I use Asana at track my project management and there's been over a thousand little steps required to get to where I am now."

Listen to this week's podcast to hear more about how she built a workforce, lessons learned along the way, and advice for others considering opening their own businesses.

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