Black Woman CEO Changes the Face of The Green Rush in California

Gives the “big dogs” a run for their money

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, April 7, 2021 / — Crystal Nugs is no average delivery service. For starters, it is owned by the first Black woman to successfully launch a legal cannabis delivery business in Sacramento. Maisha Bahati is also the president of Angels Wings Under Armour, a local non-profit that assists Veterans with resources for rehabilitation. She is also the co-founder of Cinderella Night Under the Stars, an annual charity gala started in 2015 that benefits local issues that affect communities of color, including sexual trafficking, domestic abuse, and mental health.

That is not the only thing that sets it apart from the competition. Unlike the out-of-town, multi-million-dollar corporations descending on the local market, the talent behind Crystal Nugs — Maisha Bahati — is a Sacramento native. She is swimming upstream against big companies that come into her hometown, pouring unlimited resources into opening dispensaries and advertising their products. Maisha has created her own lane by presenting an urban upscale vibe with a feminine touch that is missing from the Sacramento cannabis market. She channels her previous career as a noted fashion designer to help with all her creative needs for Crystal Nugs. “I think that unique, feminine touch we offer our customers is desperately needed in this industry. It seems to resonate with many in our customer base.”

Another point of difference is that Crystal Nugs delivers directly to customers’ doorsteps. For some clientele, this is a major selling point, says Bahati. But it is not simply the discretion that regular patrons of Crystal Nugs appreciate. The added convenience of not having to visit a dispensary that may be located across town to purchase one’s favorite products is another huge plus. “That is one of the biggest benefits of being a non-storefront delivery service. We are a dispensary on wheels. Our goal is to be there in less than two hours after the time you place your order. We are out-Amazoning Amazon.”

Customers must submit identification for deliveries, says Bahati. It is just one of the many protocols Crystal Nugs has to ensure all patrons are 21 years old or over.

In addition to holding the only Cannabis Event Organizer License in Sacramento, Bahati is the co-founder of Urban City Flowers, the first Black, woman, and equity-owned cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution facility slated to open in the fall. Crystal Nugs is hoping to become the first vertically-integrated equity cannabis company. On April 1st they were awarded 1 of the 10 new storefront dispensary permits through the Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity Program (CORE).

Now more than two years into the local cannabis scene, Bahati is encouraging other women, particularly women of color, to follow in her footsteps. While it can be challenging, it is not impossible with the right supports in place. Before she started Crystal Nugs, Bahati did not know much about the industry. She and her husband, who is also her business partner, just dove right into it.

The hardest part of the process was finding an appropriately zoned property for their production and storage needs. California cannabis law requires every dispensary — even those conducting online sales only — to have a physical location. “Zoning for cannabis property is tripled in price due to the high demand of the industry,” says Bahati. “This is one of the financial aspects of the industry that can make it difficult to get started.”

One thing that has not stood in Bahati’s way is the fact that she is a woman of color. “I want to change the narrative of social equity here in Sacramento. I want to show that persistence, hard work, and believing in yourself can get you into this industry. It’s our time as women and people of color who were affected by the war on drugs to have business ownership opportunities that will create generational wealth.”

Chris L.
Crystal Nugs Inc.
+1 916-280-9208

Related posts