Marlo Richardson is a black woman executive who took a leap of faith into the cannabis industry and quickly became vertically integrated. That means she is multi licensed and able to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, and deliver cannabis in the California market. Starting out with a steady string of career successes in insurance, real estate, Crypto Currencies, production and other industries, she came to the California cannabis industry with a wealth of experience and know-how in building profitable enterprises.
What brought her to the California cannabis industry as her next venture were not business interests, however, but a very personal inspiration. In 2018, Richardson’s mother experienced severe health difficulties that resulted in her requiring surgery for a complete hip replacement. Prior to the surgery, Richardson’s mother was in extreme pain, for which the doctors prescribed her heavy narcotic medication. While these narcotics were effective as long as she was under their heavily-sedating influence, these effects vanished the moment the narcotic effect wore off.
As Richardson explained in an interview, “It wasn’t until a friend gave me some CBD ointments and creams that she would have relief from the pain without the heavy sedating effects of the pain meds. From there, I started learning more about the cannabis industry and the true potential of cannabis.”
Since then, she’s built several cannabis and cannabis licensing brands. Her first was a cannabis and CBD delivery service in the San Fernando Valley called Just Mary. In 2022, the company plans to offer its own branded CBD products as well.
The brand has teamed up with superstar rapper Xzibit who’s already built one successful cannabis brand, Brass Knuckles, valued at $170 million, and has begun work on a second one, Xzibit Napalm Brands, creating products Richardson’s company has begun delivering.
Of the collaboration with Xzibit, Richardson says, “He’s a person with a lot of connections, passion, and drive, which is why he was a natural choice… Bringing X on the team was a great choice because we all have different expertise and complement each other.”
Another of Richardson’s brands is Tremendo, a luxury cannabis lifestyle brand soon to be found on cannabis dispensary shelves throughout California. Tremendo incorporates the high-end experience into every element of its brand, from packaging and presentation to product quality. The superior-quality cannabis in Tremendo products is all cultivated in the company’s own state-of- the-art facility.
When Richardson speaks to BIPOC entrepreneurs and aspiring ones, she offers several pieces of advice. She suggests being selective in choosing with whom to conduct business, particularly in the cannabis market where manipulative people abound. She reminds business leaders to do their research, and align themselves only with people who have a proven track record of providing quality service in the California cannabis industry.
Trust and reliability among colleagues are essential in the cannabis industry, Richardson notes, in large part due to the stigma of cannabis use and the sordid history of cannabis criminalization that still carries forward, even into this new era of legalization. “My goal,” she explains, “is to help de-stigmatize cannabis use and highlight the many benefits that it has by giving consumers more options as to how they prefer to medicate.”