The KushKart delivery service makes its Massachusetts debut after raising $ 3.5 million
KushKart raised $ 3.5 million to bring quick and discreet cannabis shipments to Massachusetts this spring
In 2019, Tamika Samson’s sister asked her to check with the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) in Massachusetts to see if there were opportunities for her when the state legalized recreational use.
At first, Samson was too busy to investigate. However, after learning of social justice programs that gave priority to residents and communities disproportionately affected by marijuana laws, she was intrigued.
Her location qualified for the program, but Tamika’s zip code was excluded. It seemed like a dead end until a CCC employee informed her about another avenue into the industry that would help the children and spouses of people previously incarcerated. It was officially welcomed in early 2020.
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Welcome to Massachusetts
Since July 2020, Tamika and 30 prospective delivery staff have been taking part in ZOOM courses and running self-help groups for their fellow campaigners in the field of social justice – a group of 80 students in total.
The state states that it does not issue licenses for social justice, but rather involves companies like KushKart in a support program that connects them with resources.
“We communicate daily or more often,” explains Samson. “We have weekly ZOOM meetings for our classes that we have to lead through the CCC. They give us a series of courses that teach us about planting, growing, retailing, banking, and accounting – basically everything we should know. “
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Another part of the program is to match entrepreneurs with volunteer legal advisors and established vendors interested in supporting social equity projects.
“You can start fundraising as soon as you are accepted into the program,” says Samson. “You can start scouting investors and try to put your team together to see how you can make that dream come true for yourself.”
This is how Tamika met business partner Taylor Weaver, a lawyer and businessman who was ready to face the challenge of the cannabis industry.
Together, Tamika and Taylor raised $ 3.5 million to expand KushKart across the state while retaining a majority stake in their company. With plans to roll out nationwide between late March and early June, Leafly spoke to these phenomenal founders about their inspirations, challenges, and long-term visions for KushKart.
An obligation to help others
Although business is only just beginning, Tamika’s knowledge of health and wellness goes back much further. Previously, she helped opioid users fight addiction.
“I’m a mental health advisor, and many of my clients who I treat for substance use started taking opioids for pain. Whether they went to the dentist or needed pain medication because of a car accident, wherever they got their initial dose of opioid medication, they became addicted from there. “
“Cannabis helps people with substance use, opioid addictions, mental health problems like schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Cannabis has been shown to be of great benefit in helping those trying to combat opioid addiction by helping them with their withdrawal, cravings, and sleep and restlessness. Cannabis also helps women with many body specific problems. “
As a healthcare professional, she understands what goes on people’s minds who simply need high quality, efficient access to cannabis.
“A lot of people want to try cannabis for the first time, or are currently using cannabis, but for some reason they don’t want to go to the pharmacy. Some of the lines are long, you stand outside waiting for lines, and you are visible to the public. So I think the delivery allows them to be delivered to your home discreetly. No advertising is added. The vehicles we drive are not marked. Nobody will know that cannabis will be delivered to your home. “
What it’s like to be on a government social justice program
Now that Kushkart has his foot in the door, Taylor likes to pull the curtain back on what it’s like to be on the Massachusetts social equity program.
“The CCC has taken great care to ensure that no one just walks in and takes over the business. The license is only available to participants in Social Equity. So it’s critical that the applicant meet a 51 percent ownership threshold, ”says Weaver.
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“So Tamika was allowed to keep her stake and I was allowed to keep a large part of the equity. I think that saved us from predators in the cannabis industry, ”he adds. “Unfortunately, that’s one of the things you see sometimes. I don’t think it’s strictly intentional, but since this is such a new market, no one knows what the real value is. But we are in a great position as we have equity with which to potentially raise capital again. “
Planning for Success in the Northeast
The store is about to open, currently dots and dots are being crossed to make sure everything is okay with the state of Massachusetts.
“We offer first-class customer service and delivery speed. And because Kushkart has the funding, it’ll be in a unique position to make sure it’s one of the best on the market, ”says Weaver.
He gives out some real details about what it’s like to get a company like this up and running.
“There are many requirements that the CCC has made in its regulations. It’s very thoughtful, but at the same time very time-consuming and very expensive. So we will ensure that all of our requirements are met, regardless of whether there are surveillance cameras in every single hallway entrance, whether the building and vehicle specifications are met, or whether the inventory is secured, ”he said.
“We have expressions of interest and partnership agreements with suppliers, so we will use our funds to buy inventory. We also have to pay the salaries of the employees, drivers, shipping and the company’s running costs. There’s so much more we’d like to do, but right now we’re glad we have the funds to cover those operating expenses and to cover the property and equipment. “
Tamika has the final say on what got her so far into the cannabis room.
“Network, network, network. That is the key component in this whole process. Get in touch with people. Don’t give up, even if you get no the first time. Keep knocking on the doors. Because there will be a door that will open for you and you can see your dreams come true with your business. “
Calvin Stovall writes and produces media in Atlanta, GA and runs day-to-day operations for The Artistic Unified Exchange, a nonprofit that protects intellectual property on behalf of independent artists and underserved communities.
Show article by Calvin Stovall