The Gorilla Rx owner on cannabis politics, the Mayor of London, and running a community-first business.
AS TOLD TO KATE DWYER
In August 2021, I opened Gorilla Rx, our dispensary on Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles. The store aesthetic came from my years working in the natural food industry. I wanted our store to be different from traditional dispensaries, and I loved being in the vitamin section at the Whole Foods and GNCs of the world. I wanted it to be a place in the community where elderly folks would feel like they were going into a vitamin store. And I wanted our place to break down the stigma of the experience of visiting a dispensary.
That meant having a home goods and lifestyle section, collaborating with community businesses, and showcasing real cooperative economics. Reparations Club, for example, had their books and albums in our store. If you come in, you will see and feel a community in action. We stock a large selection of Black-owned, woman-owned brands. Your individual action of purchasing that product will help that person feed their family and enable them to create more and do more for others. To me, that’s what the spirit of cannabis has always been, long before it was regulated. No matter what color or race or gender you are, we want you to be a part of this.