About a year and a half ago, I was at Applebee’s with my mentor having all day marijuana meetings. That day we were at Applebee’s for about 10 hours. We got there for lunch at noon and I remember having to damn near hitch a ride home around 10 p.m. That was a very busy and memorable day. We met with a realtor, an engineer, a doctor, the partners, potential employees and of course a cultivation owner.
As we were finishing our meeting with the engineer, I was ordering my 5th round of drinks when in walks two young African-American men. They introduce themselves to my mentor as G5 Cultivation. Up until that moment, my mentor and I weren’t aware of any other African-Americans in the Las Vegas area cannabis business. It was a pleasant and greatly inspiring moment.
Larry Smith and Shawn Holman comprise G5 Cultivation, and are also natives of Las Vegas. Larry is a successful local businessman and Shawn is a local electrician. Larry can be described as being strong in stature while Shaun noticeably wears a head wrap which honors his culture. Both men confidently shake my mentors hand and sit with us at the table. At that point, we ordered more food and began to dialogue on the upcoming changes to our city as the cannabis industry begins to boom.
Today, we are in the dawn of the opening and launch of G5 Cultivation. Our launch party is set for June 7th, 2016 at the SLS Hotel and Casino as the city of Las Vegas eagerly awaits the arrival of its FIRST black owned and black funded marijuana farm.
Larry, why did you decide to get into the marijuana business?
Larry: Shawn pursued me and thought it would be a great challenge for us. The more I researched and learned about the culture the more I saw the opportunity to help the people and make an impact in my community.
How important is the support of your family while running your business?
Larry: It’s EVERYTHING to me. Without my family and friends, my business won’t have life.
Is being a marijuana farmer harder than you thought it would be?
Larry: No, not at all. It really is a lot of fun. I enjoy the challenges this business has to offer. I wake up early every morning and dig in. I also like being the diversity in the business. It means that I have an opportunity to be the first. That is a great feeling!
What are your highest expectations for the cultivation business?
Larry: Do your best!
I really only have one expectation for myself in this business, “Touch the line.” It’s a basketball term that means, “Don’t cheat yourself.”
If you had to do it all over again, would you?
Larry: Absolutely! Without the cultivation there is no product. The farmer is essential to the cannabis business. This is the best business to own in the cannabis business.
What advice would you give someone who wants to be in the cannabis business?
Be prepared to bust your ass and do the work because there are others that are busting their ass as well.
What legacy do you plan to leave for your children?
To just simply be kind, humble and do right by others. Those three things will always open doors and will carry them further than anything else I could leave them.
You can follow Larry and Shawn and their adventures of Selling Marijuana Legally on YouTube.
By A’Esha Goins