Equity Member Spotlight: Legacy Greens, LLC

NCIA’s editorial department continues the Member Spotlight series by highlighting our Social Equity Scholarship Recipients as part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program. Participants are gaining first-hand access to regulators in key markets to get insight on the industry, tips for raising capital, and advice on how to access and utilize data to ensure success in their businesses, along with all the other benefits available to NCIA members. 

Tell us a bit about you, your background, and why you launched your company.

My name is Dr. Donise Floyd and I am the founder and managing member of Legacy Greens, a vertically integrated cannabis company. I was born and reared in Detroit, Michigan and I am a product of the public school system. I have a BS and MS from U of Detroit Mercy. I also have a Ph.D. in Leadership. Throughout my career, I have been instrumental in developing teams, building sustainable programs, formulating compliance models, and have been instrumental mentoring and impacting the community. I have been an administrator, educator, professor, mentor, business owner, and advocate for the community. 

I experimented with marijuana when I was younger and like many others around me understood the value of the product for medicinal and recreational purposes. When I was younger, I would hear individuals reference marijuana as their medicine. In the late 1970s up to now, people use the plant to treat things like anxiety, depression, stress, and cancer. It was referenced and/or used as a medicine before it was popular. What is now known as the cannabis industry was known as a “side hustle” in my family and in some cases, a full-blown business that thrived and supported families and communities. But it was illegal. I look back now through very educated eyes and think how things could have been different if there were no legal implications. There was a high price to pay if you were caught! Especially if you were Black! 

I have witnessed my family, friends, and community pay for it with their lives. Whether it was long-term prison sentences or loss of life; the sacrifice was tremendous and the impact far-reaching and long-lasting. I have seen, felt, witnessed, and lived the fallout of the war on drugs that ultimately decimated my community. We knew the penalty for “hustling” this plant was either incarceration or maybe even death. Today, the very thing that destroyed communities and families has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Legacy Greens was birthed to assist in restoring the community, build generational wealth, and repair some of the harm in family dynamics. Our goal is to vertically integrate this company so that it can lend itself to support, educate, and fund other entrepreneurial ventures that are connected, directly linked or outside of the cannabis space. 

What unique value does your company offer to the cannabis industry?

Legacy Greens is a minority female and social equity-owned and operated company. We are committed to connecting the community to resources. Our desire is to build a network and partnerships with other minorities, BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+ and veteran-owned companies both in the cannabis and ancillary space. The goal is to build relationships that would build wealth, opportunity, community, and lasting relationships. 

While Legacy Greens is a for-profit cannabis company, our vision and mission are rooted in a philanthropic belief and value system. We are currently raising capital to launch phase one of our plan to open a dispensary leading to a fully vertically integrated company. We have submitted applications for several licenses beginning with an event planner. Others include dispensary, grow, and processing. Our business will use its profits to restore the community and part of our purpose is to build bridges that will lead to the creation of pathways to business ownership.

What is your goal for the greater good of cannabis? 

Part of our goal is to “turn the black market green” by building bridges to access (one entrepreneur at a time). That is to say that we will support businesses with undocumented years of plant-touching experience with no resources and maybe even a lack of understanding with running a formal business. Legacy Greens is committed to R.I.D.E. for its community – Restore, Invest, Develop, and Educate. 

What kind of challenges do you face in the industry and what solutions would you like to see? 

The major barrier, at this time, is access to capital. We have been bootstrapping this initiative and have been faced with many challenges that we have and are still overcoming. Access to capital is a huge barrier but being a minority women business owner is another. It would be great to see more access to capital for the BIPOC community. It is so disheartening that in some cases the access is limited because of the color of your skin. We shall overcome all barriers and become a successful business that builds wealth not only for itself but for the community.

Why did you join NCIA? What’s the best or most important part about being a member through the Social Equity Scholarship Program?

NCIA has been a great networking tool. Their commitment to support social equity businesses is extremely valuable. The access to information has been very beneficial. The relationships and exposure have been immeasurable and the connections have been extremely rewarding.

It is my goal to continue to build relationships and maybe even partnerships. In some cases, it has even been a support system. Having the opportunity to discuss and roundtable ideas or challenges has proven to be an invaluable resource. NCIA has been an extremely valuable resource for Legacy Greens and its efforts.


Equity Member Spotlight: Endo Industries – Nancy Do

This month, NCIA’s editorial department continues the monthly Member Spotlight series by highlighting our Social Equity Scholarship Recipients as part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program. Participants are gaining first-hand access to regulators in key markets to get insight on the industry, tips for raising capital, and advice on how to access and utilize data to ensure success in their businesses, along with all the other benefits available to NCIA members. 

Tell us a bit about you, your background, and why you launched your company.

Endo Industries CEO & Co-founder, Nancy Do

I was raised in Eastside San Jose by parents who are Vietnam War refugees and moved to San Francisco 12 years ago where my cannabis entrepreneurship journey began. I started off as a grower in my garage in San Francisco and started to expand into grow houses, greenhouses, and warehouses to build what is now Endo Industries. 

I built Endo Industries because despite living through some of the lowest times of my life such as getting raided, going to jail, and going through years of emotional roller coasters with the criminal justice system, I know my experience, passion, and background is what cannabis needs. Endo is grounded in science, elevated by culture. Endo represents equity, diversity, the hustle, and the grind and we are building something in cannabis that is exceptional and collaborative. I love this plant and everything plant medicine can represent. I’m not going to let this industry become one-dimensional.

What unique value does your company offer to the cannabis industry?

Endo is a queer female, legacy, and social equity-owned and operated parent company, which is a mouthful but also a unique value proposition in itself. I’ve seen legacy and equity cannabis companies come up with great ideas, passion, experience, and drive but are lacking in organization, upper management, high-level strategy for the long game, and key resources such as genetics, a reliable supply chain, and capital (including in Endo’s own experiences!). As a team, we deeply understand this plant and the creativity of what cannabis culture is and can be. We bring something different and fresh.

Endo provides a few unique things in our model:

  1. Plants from tissue culture free of pests and diseases to our growers and tissue culture services to elevate and protect our brands and breeders
  2. A strong stance of direct and real support for equity and legacy operators through our partnership with Locals Equity Distro to provide distribution services for over 25 equity, legacy, queer and women-owned brands in CA
  3. Workforce and economic opportunity for the Re-Entry Community who have been formerly incarcerated
  4. A tech, blockchain component to collect and share data 

What is your goal for the greater good of cannabis?

Virus-free tissue culture plants at Endo’s lab in San Francisco

My greater goal is to create a platform and community that enables the normalization of safe, affordable access to cannabis while uplifting communities that have been affected by the war on drugs. I want to build a world in which we can celebrate art, culture, diversity, and cannabis all in one. And no, it’s not the idealist in me; I know this is the way the world needs to reconnect, compassionately with each other in spite of our differences. We’d certainly find that we have more in common than meets the eye if we let our walls down.

What kind of challenges do you face in the industry and what solutions would you like to see?

Being a queer women of color while also building a business that serves the greater good of our communities is no walk in the park. I would like to see investors and potential partnerships trust, respect, and invest in leaders like me. We need access to real capital and partnerships without undervaluing or controlling our businesses. We can build profitable, thriving businesses if we are just given the chance and there is no better place than the cannabis industry to start.

Why did you join NCIA? What’s the best or most important part about being a member through the Social Equity Scholarship Program?

I’ve always wanted to join NCIA but the membership fee was a barrier to entry. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an organization giving a voice and making space for equity and under-represented founders both on the legislative level and through NCIA’s channels.

Anything else: What is Endo’s growth plan for the next year?

We just launched a smaller raise of $1M and will be going for a larger round of $4M shortly thereafter. These funds will be used to expand our plant genetics offerings into new territories in the US and globally, which will allow us to foundationally launch the Endo model in every new territory. No doubt, Endo is going to make big waves this coming year to set ourselves up for the many years to come. 

Member Blog: My Journey Through The Intersection of the LGBTQ Community and Cannabis Movement

By Erich Pearson, SPARC
NCIA Board and Founding Member

Reflecting on the decades-long fight to end prohibition of marijuana, one person comes to mind this month as we look at the similar and interconnected decades-long Gay Pride movement and what it means for the LGBTQ community today. One activist largely credited for legalizing medical cannabis in California is the original “cannabis influencer” Dennis Peron. We have much to be grateful for as we remember his legacy advocating for AIDS patients in California to have access to medical cannabis.

As for my role in both of these these important causes, I arrived in San Francisco in 2000 after graduating college in Indiana. I was happy to find San Francisco to be not only accepting of me as a gay man, but also accepting of me as someone interested in the cannabis movement. In the 1990s, there were a handful of medical cannabis dispensaries operating, un-permitted and un-regulated. It wasn’t until 2006 that Americans For Safe Access (ASA), Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), and Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) along with a handful of local advocates led the charge to regulate dispensaries.

A few of the most vocal advocates were veterans from the political days of Dennis Peron. Dennis was not involved in the regulatory process of 2006. It was widely known that Dennis didn’t like regulations (he repeated this during the Prop 64 campaign years later). Dennis thought cannabis should be grown and sold freely, outside of an alcohol-type regulatory environment. He was right, but unrealistic – hence his waning interest in the politics of it.

Dennis did have a few friends who wanted to see cannabis regulated in San Francisco, and one was Wayne Justmann, a gay man that used to work the door at Dennis’ cannabis club at 1444 Market Street. Wayne is a friend of mine today, and we worked closely together to advocate for a dispensary program that respected the existing operators, despite their “inappropriate” locations in many cases. We ultimately won this battle, as San Francisco has a healthy respect for social pioneers.

San Francisco was also the first city to regulate on-site consumption. This was allowed in order to provide AIDS patients a safe place to medicate, outside of government housing. This has proven to be a successful program, with little public resistance even today as we permit more of these lounges, primarily designed for adult-use consumption.

I started a free compassion program in San Francisco in the early 2000’s at Maitri AIDS Hospice. We still deliver twice a month to patients there. This has been an incredibly successful program and a very rewarding experience for myself and the staff who carry it out.

Today, I don’t see a lot of synergies anymore between gay progress and cannabis progress despite its intertwined history, but we at SPARC honor that history with a t-shirt claiming victory: “Legalized Gay Pot.” Of course, the fight for fair treatment and equality for both cannabis and LGBTQ right is far from over, but in San Francisco, I’d say we’ve come a long way on both fronts. And as cannabis legalization sweep through other states across the country, we can see studies that show gay, lesbian and bisexual people being the highest level of consumers among other select demographics, showing that our communities continue to overlap.

In looking back on all of this history and progress, I am thankful for all of the advocates who put themselves forward to fight for cannabis AND LGBTQ rights – we wouldn’t be here without their hard work, dedication, and selflessness. I now look forward to a future where everyone, in every state, can access the cannabis plant and be treated with respect and fairness.


Photo By CannabisCamera.com

Erich Pearson is a recognized leader in the cannabis industry – a long-time advocate, legislative consultant, dispensary operator, cultivation expert, and NCIA board member.

A proponent of medical cannabis regulation, cultivation, and best practices since 2000, Erich served on the San Francisco District Attorney’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Group and consults on state and local medical cannabis policy and legislation.

Erich was instrumental in the passage of both San Francisco’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary Act and the law enforcement “lowest priority” resolution of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. As a result of Erich’s work he was appointed in 2007 by Supervisor David Campos to sit on San Francisco’s Medical Cannabis Working Group.

In 2010 Erich launched SPARC, a nonprofit medical cannabis dispensary providing safe, consistent and affordable medical cannabis to patients in San Francisco. SPARC provides high quality, lab-tested cannabis to qualified patients, and collaborates with local hospices, residential care facilities, and dispensaries to successfully supply medical marijuana at no cost to seriously ill patients.

How does SPARC do it? By growing cannabis more efficiently. Erich’s expertise is constructing and managing large indoor cultivation facilities. With a robust Research & Development team, Erich is meticulously focused on developing the optimal environmental recipe for high-yield cultivations using unique systems of lighting, ventilation and design.

SPARC is a Founding & Supporting Member of NCIA.
Erich holds a BS in Construction and Project Management from Purdue University.

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