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Hope Wiseman Owns the Only Black Woman-Owned Cannabis Dispensary in the County

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Maryland lawmakers’ recent efforts to limit the establishment of new cannabis dispensaries have presented a significant obstacle for Hope Wiseman, the CEO of Mary & Main. Despite Wiseman’s extensive experience in the industry and her plans to expand her business following the legalization of recreational cannabis, she is facing considerable resistance from both residents and lawmakers in Prince George’s County.

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The push to restrict new dispensary locations is being led by County Council members Krystal Oriadha and Wala Blegay. Blegay, whose district encompasses Mary & Main, advocates for confining dispensaries to industrial zones. This stance has sparked a heated debate, reflecting broader concerns within the community about the implications of cannabis legalization.

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Residents, particularly those in affluent, predominantly Black suburbs, have voiced their apprehensions about the proliferation of liquor and smoke shops in certain neighborhoods. They argue that these areas lack essential amenities such as grocery stores and express concerns about issues like marijuana odor, impaired driving, and the potential normalization of cannabis use among children who may encounter dispensaries on their way to school.

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In response to these concerns, Blegay emphasizes the importance of striking a balance. She suggests that Black-owned businesses have the potential to contribute more than just cannabis-related ventures and proposes limiting dispensaries to industrial areas as a means of addressing community concerns while still allowing for economic development.

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The debate surrounding cannabis dispensary locations underscores deeper tensions within the community regarding the impacts of legalization. As Wiseman navigates these challenges, she remains committed to her vision of expanding her business and contributing positively to the community. However, the outcome of this debate will undoubtedly shape the future landscape of cannabis regulation in Prince George’s County.

source: The DMV Daily


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Maryland Lawmakers & Residents Push Back Against Cannabis Entrepreneur  was originally published on