Proposition 64 legalized adult-use cannabis in California. From that comes Sixty Four & Hope dispensaries owned by social equity cannabis licensees from South Los Angeles. The Sixty Four & Hope concept from 4thMVMT is designed to provide economic opportunities for those most adversely affected by the “War On Drugs.” The goal is to open 21 businesses by Summer 2023, each of which can increase the respective licensees’ yearly income from $46,000 – below the poverty line in Los Angeles – to more than $450,000 per year while also creating 30-40 jobs with benefits. This increased income can create generational wealth for the owners and their families while simultaneously investing in and serving their communities.
Nearly $20 million in funding has come from celebrity investors such as Anthony Selah, Julius Erving III, Nas, Queen Latifah, and Troy Carter. One location is already opened, with three to follow in a few months.
The Mid-City location opened in September 2021. Owner Aja Allen, a young woman from the Jungles near Crenshaw and MLK, grew up with a mother who abused drugs. Allen sees this opportunity as a way to uplift her life, her LGBTQ community, and South L.A.
“I grew up in an overpoliced area; family members and friends went to jail for cannabis offenses,” says Allen. “For me, it’s not just about getting the opportunity; it’s about what I do with it once I’ve got it.”
A young mother from Leimert Park, Rhavin L, owns the Melrose District store, opening on December 20, 2021. She hopes to use her store to educate young women and mothers. She says the Sixty Four and Hope program has taught her to “face my fears but also to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
The Echo Park location opens in March 2022, and owner Mekonnen Garedew works in higher education to develop university access for underserved populations. For him, owning every aspect of the business means radically transforming his community.
“To me, cannabis is not about getting high; it’s about our people reaching higher ground,” says Garedew. For Garedew, marijuana is more than simply taking a toke from the spoon pipe; it’s a passage towards generational wealth and empowerment.
Entrepreneur Wally Knott III, a young man from South L.A., tried to launch his own cannabis cultivation business with resources or financial support and lost his savings. Now, his West Los Angeles location opens in April 2022, and for Knott, this is an opportunity to “regain the hope that [he’d] lost.”
4thMVMT believes “entrepreneurship is the most effective vehicle for Black and Latino people to exist equitably in America. By removing barriers, we can close the Nation’s wealth, health, and achievement gaps, changing society for the better.”
By leveraging the new and growing opportunities in cannabis and social equity, 4thMVMT and Sixty Four and Hope are investing in people “who demonstrate integrity and tenacity for entrepreneurship” and lack only the necessary resources.