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JustinCredible Cultivation, LLC: The First Black-Owned Cannabis Cultivation in Massachusetts

Reginald Stanfield (“Stanfield”) has been a savvy businessman since he was old enough to work. Having grown up in the South in a family of farmers, agriculture has been a longstanding area of interest for Stanfield. In 2018, drawing on both his knowledge about best practices in farming as well as prior experience owning and operating his own businesses, Stanfield launched JustinCredible Cultivation, LLC (“JustinCredible”), the first Black-owned cannabis cultivation business in Massachusetts. Stanfield began his operation by conducting extensive market research into the cannabis industry. This research included him and his business partner visiting cultivation businesses on the West Coast to draw inspiration and broaden their knowledge of the ins-and-outs of what goes into building a successful cultivation operation from the ground up.

With this knowledge, Stanfield built JustinCredible from the ground up in every sense. From the very drywall to obtaining licensure from the Cannabis Control Commission and forging relationships throughout the cannabis community in Massachusetts, Stanfield has been involved in all aspects of creating JustinCredible. We at Urban News were excited to speak with Stanfield about his experience and vision in founding JustinCredible and his thoughts on the future of cannabis in Massachusetts:

How does it feel to be the owner of the first licensed Black-owned cannabis cultivation business in Massachusetts, and what advice can you give to other up-and-coming Black cultivators?

I feel I have a responsibility to tell newcomers everything I did incorrectly. I haven’t come across or had any other Black cultivators reach out to me yet, but I have had discussions with cannabis transporters and retailors. If other Black cultivators do reach out, I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure their experience is at least a little bit easier than mine. It doesn’t make sense for them to go through everything I did if my experience can help educate them.

JustinCredible is currently a cannabis cultivator only. Would you ever consider branching out and becoming a dispensary as well?

Part of my business plan involves looking forward and gauging the market. I tell people I come from a family of farmers, and it’s in my blood to actually grow things. I’ve been farming or on some type of farm since I was eight years old – on tobacco fields, cornfields, running around with dogs and hogs by my side since I was a child. It’s in my blood. Even in Upper Marlboro, we have food trees and plants that no one else has. So, it’s in my blood, but I’m also a businessman and, in my opinion, though some might disagree with me, retail and branding are not the future of the cannabis industry. I think it would be a bad idea for anyone to open another dispensary for a long time.

How would you explain the cannabis industry to people who don’t support or understand it?

You have to understand, people drink liquor. My first-ever business, which is still operational today, is Masters of Mixology. Masters of Mixology is a bartending service. During its formation, I spent a lot of time studying and researching how many kids die from drunk driving. People take opioids, drink liquor, etc. even though they know those things are poisonous. Alcohol is known to be a depressant, but as a society, we have no problem with people having the opportunity to destroy their bodies by drinking shots of tequila every night if that’s what they want to do.

So, the back-and-forth argument about marijuana’s properties, what’s good or bad for the body, etc. doesn’t need to be had. Not when, if someone chooses to do so, they can go home every night and have a shot of whiskey or a beer. Even if we were to accept cannabis can have a negative effect on some people, why can’t I do the same thing with cannabis as others do with alcohol? There are studies showing you’re not supposed to take more than a shot or have more than one drink, per hour. We know the body can’t process more than that. Anyone can Google it. But almost every community in the United States has a liquor store. At age 21, you’re free to drink away your problems. So why isn’t it my decision to smoke away mine?

Photo By: Josh Watkins
Photo By: Josh Watkins

What is something you want our readers and the public to know about JustinCredible?

That we’re not just craft growers. Do we offer boutique/specialty products? Yes. But we started this business with zero dollars and raised 1.3 million dollars in less than 9 months. We’ve faced difficulties other entrepreneurs haven’t, and we’ve done so successfully. We built our building in 3-degree weather.

We’ve met deadlines even when it’s meant working through five days of the Flu and pushing ourselves to the limit. We overcame an eight-month delay when we had no budget to work with, and our management staff has given their all, even when they haven’t gotten paid. So, when people overlook us or we’re overshadowed – those people don’t know what we’re about to do. Within the next two to three years, JustinCredible plans to be the biggest cultivator in Massachusetts with broad brand recognition to the extent customers are showing up at dispensaries specifically seeking our cannabis and won’t settle for anything less. So, that’s what I have to say to people. And to those who don’t believe us, I’d like to see anyone try to stop us. I also encourage any cultivators that are trying to break into the industry to reach out. I’m here to share my knowledge and make sure anyone who’s willing to put in the work has the opportunity to succeed in this market. I believe in giving. There are people who have helped me out along the way, and I wouldn’t be here without them. A special shoutout to Doug Andrews from Here We Grow in Hadley, Massachusetts. Without Doug and his wife, JustinCredible would not be open. They have been our rocks every step of the way. I would also like to recognize Seun Adedeji, CEO of Elev8 Cannabis, who has also been instrumental throughout this journey.