SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Marijuana dispensary 6 Brick’s has opened its doors on Main Street, making it the third shop of its kind in Springfield. The owner said in the City of Firsts, this business is breaking down barriers.
Springfield native Payton Shubrick is the third black woman to open and operate a dispensary in the state and she says especially in an industry like this, representation matters.
“We’ve had to face a lot of adversity to get to this point,” said Shubrick. She said it took her three and a half years to open 6 Brick’s, now entering an industry that was valued at $33 billion last year.
“When you think about a retail, you’re looking at anywhere between $1.3-5 million,” said Shubrick.
According to Fortune Magazine, only two percent of business owners in the marijuana industry are black. Shubrick said there are a number of barriers that make this industry inaccessible. For example, the industry is still federally illegal, so you can’t really get a traditional loan from a bank. However, she said bringing diversity to this industry is critical.
“As we think about the war on drugs, we know that through arrest and conviction records, many people of color went to jail and yet when you think about the legal market, we’re not seeing the same numbers of people of color successfully being able to own and operate,” said Shubrick.
Shubrick hopes her local business will help contribute to her home city’s economy and help lifts others up in the process, “We have 30 plus employees, many of which are from the city of Springfield. And so it’s not only that I have the opportunity to participate in this industry but creating opportunities for other people of color as well.”
Their soft opening was at the beginning of this month and the big ribbon cutting event is scheduled for Saturday morning.