Despite a five-month regulatory slowdown after cannabis legalization in March, New York City movers and marijuana shakers are already rolling up their sleeves to get serious work done. âI went back to the Hudson Valley to make sure the promise of social equity was kept,â says Ruben Lindo, founder of cannabis companies Blak Mar Farms and Herbn Couture.
A former professional athlete and seasoned entrepreneur with diverse cannabis experience, Lindo has been intimately involved in lobbying state lawmakers for social equity provisions in the MRTA. On the eve of legalization, he returned from California to the Hudson Valley to bring his entrepreneurial expertise and passion for social justice to the state’s burgeoning industry.
âThe philosophy of Blak Mar Farms and Herbn Couture is the promotion and advancement of blacks and browns who have been hurt by the failed war on drugs,â said Lindo. “As long as someone stays in jail for cannabis anywhere in the United States, we keep fighting this war.”
Between his two companies, Lindo hopes to empower other members of the BIPOC community at every step of the industry, from seed to sale.
Blak Mar Farms, a cannabis cultivation company with a facility in Michigan, works to identify BIPOC growers and manufacturers in the United States, Africa, and Central and South America who can market products from premium cannabis.
Herbn Couture, a luxury cannabis brand, manufactures designer clothing, cannabis accessories, culinary products like infused salad dressings and cooking oils, and baked goods made in partnership with Canna Dolce.
Perhaps the most visible side of Herbn Couture right now is its luxury networking dinners. Its first dinner, a red carpet-style event held at Saugerties on June, hosted a diverse crowd of industry veterans alongside budding entrepreneurs, who have forged potential partnerships on Wagyu beef and tiger shrimp and have responsibly indulged in a selection of Blak Mar Farms’ cannabis products.
Next month, Herbn Couture will host another glamorous networking night at the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany, a stately event space and former hotel built by Adam Blake Jr, a prominent businessman and son of a slave man. Of particular importance to Lindo is the location of the event in the backyard of state lawmakers. âThis is how a dedicated and rare African-American CEO in the cannabis space plants the seeds of social equity in New York City,â he says.
The Herbn Couture Luxury Cannabis Networking Dinner at the Kenmore Ballroom will be on Friday, October 22 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets cost $ 125 to $ 175 and can be purchased here.