After becoming among the first Black women in the Sacramento region to run their own cannabis businesses, Maisha Bahati and Miko Banks are looking to extend opportunities to others looking to get into the local industry.
Bahati, the CEO of cannabis delivery business Crystal Nugs, and Banks, owner of cultivation business Resziin Farms, are combining their efforts to start a new incubator space.
The two are collaborating on a new 8,000-square-foot facility in North Sacramento, which would include an incubator for cannabis startups, a cultivation facility and a new manufacturing and distribution facility called Urban City Flowers. Bahati said they’ve secured a 10-year lease for the space. She declined to disclose the address, citing security concerns.
“It would be the first Black-, woman- and equity-owned manufacturing and distribution facility in Sacramento,” Bahati said.
Crystal Nugs will be a partner in the delivery side of the facility, Bahati said, and Resziin Farms will expand its cultivation operations at the site.
In the years immediately following recreational cannabis legalization in California in 2016, Sacramento’s cannabis industry initially became crowded with well-capitalized groups buying up real estate for cultivation, while some local dispensary chains consolidated and grew rapidly. Amid the competition, Banks and Bahati are looking to help more minority-owned businesses find a foothold.
“In this industry you have to have this vertically integrated system,” Bahati said. “The competition is big, and that’s what we’re doing to be more competitive and more self-sustaining in this industry.”
The city of Sacramento has launched efforts to help residents from communities impacted by the war on drugs enter into the relatively young legal cannabis industry, but prospective business owners still face challenges. Both Bahati and Banks graduated from the city’s cannabis equity program, but observed that business owners face barriers when it comes to finding an affordable space to launch their business.
Providing space is just one way to help young businesses get started, Banks said. She said the new facility will have room for up to 12 startups, spanning manufacturing, delivery, cultivation or distribution.
“I’m just offering the infrastructure so people can come in and utilize the space,” Banks said. “That’s how you create generational wealth.”
The two women are funding the project from their current cannabis operations and other businesses. Bahati also owns a fashion line, and Banks has operated a local towing business for the last five years. The two are also seeking interest-free loans that are offered through the city’s equity program, Bahati said.
Banks estimated that the Resziin Farms project will cost $1.8 million in total and could open within a year and a half. Bahati estimated that Urban City Flowers will cost $500,000 to start up and will be ready to launch by September or October.