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Sisters celebrate success of Black, female-owned marijuana dispensary in Detroit

Sisters celebrate success of Black, female-owned marijuana dispensary in Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) – A black woman-owned dispensary is one of the first equity applicants to begin selling adult-use marijuana within Detroit city limits.

The two women behind the business are sisters who grew up on the city’s east side. They opened for Medical in 2016 on Mack Avenue.

At House of Zen, it’s all about the customer experience, say owners Terry Hargrave and Jacqueline Weatherby.

They make an effort to greet everyone with an audible welcome and smile. The ambience and interior design is meant to put people at ease, especially those in need of treatment.

“In 2013, my husband’s oncologist wrote him a script and we saw the benefits,” Hargrave said.

Hargrave’s husband was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Weathersby was his caretaker.

“I had five patients who were under me for whom I grew cannabis,” Wethersby said.

When he died they thought, why not make it a business?

“It was meant to finally be owned,” Hargrave said. “And to be able to create some kind of wealth and give back to my community.”

It was all going according to plan. His medical business was booming until 2018, when Michigan became recreational.

“People no longer needed to buy that medical marijuana card. They could go to the suburbs and use their license,” Hargreave said. “It was stressful for everyone in town because it was like dead and yes, some of us had to shut down.”

Unfortunately, the recreational marijuana industry was non-existent in Detroit due to ongoing litigation surrounding the city’s ordinance.

Hargrave and Wethersby had to fight their way to the license, even though the first DBS was supposed to go to Detroiters.

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“It took us seven years,” Hargrave said.

Now that word is spreading, business is slowly starting to pick up again, and even Hargrave’s son took time off from his travel nursing program to help out in the shop.

“It’s been a rollercoaster as far as this business goes, but they’re both great role models,” said Rodney Hargreave.

Now, it’s been two weeks since the sisters started selling recreational marijuana. They are finally able to take a breath and reflect on their success.

“We are very grateful and grateful,” Hargrave said.

The House of Zen Sisters stated that they have aspirations to open a larger operation as soon as their recreational business stabilizes.

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