This Black family just made history by opening the first minority independently-owned cannabis shop in Illinois, ESSENCE reports.
Similar to the story of Roland Conner, Chuck Brewer has previous cannabis-related charges and always wondered if the day where marijuana is widely accepted would ever come. Chuck’s brother, Matt, had an inkling that legalization would happen so he started his venture into "cannapreneurship" in 2014, when Illinois legalized medical marijuana.
Despite personal feelings around the movement, other Brewer family members were willing to join Matt’s entrepreneurial journey. In 2019, the family obtained a social equity license and used their own funds to open the dispensary, celebrating the grand opening of Grasshopper Club just last month!
“We wanted to have some ownership and true autonomy. And there’s nothing wrong with partnering with MSOs, and a lot of other groups have found themselves in a situation where it was their best option. But it was important to us to be in a position where we could actually decide what kind of experience we wanted to provide, how we show up in the community, and even how we pick products that we’re carrying on our shelves. And you lose that type of freedom when someone is invested in the business funding," Matt told ESSENCE.
Diane Brewer, Chuck and Matt's mother, who used to be an accountant, came out of retirement to help manage parts of the shop. We love to see a family business thrive as a result of love, support, and commitment.
Congrats to the Brewer family!
Photo: Matthew Brewer/ Ray Abercrombie.