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A Black woman overcomes many obstacles to get into the marijuana industry

Payton Shubrick, founder of 6Brick's, a cannabis retailer in Springfield, Massachusetts, in front of the word cloud wall that is one of several references to the history of marijuana inside the store.
Paul Tuthill
/
WAMC
Payton Shubrick, founder of 6Brick's, a cannabis retailer in Springfield, Massachusetts, in front of the word cloud wall that is one of several references to the history of marijuana inside the store.

One of the few minority-owned cannabis retail locations in Massachusetts is in downtown Springfield — a city deeply impacted by the war on drugs

Equity and inclusion for minorities in legal marijuana businesses was one of the goals of the law that launched the cannabis industry in Massachusetts five years ago.

But those good intentions have yet to pan out.

Very few minority entrepreneurs have been able to raise the necessary capital and navigate the red tape required to enter the legal market in Massachusetts.

A rare exception is Payton Shubrick. The 29-year-old is the CEO and founder of 6 Brick’s, a cannabis retailer that opened for business on Main Street in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts a few weeks ago.

She is the first Black woman to own a marijuana business in western Massachusetts and only the third in the state.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill visited with Shubrick in her newly-opened cannabis store.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.