Tommy G. Meade Jr. of HBCU Buzz talks to Huey Abeyi (the CEO of HBCannU) about if there is a link between historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and cannabis or not, the black colleges that have taken a stance on the legalization of cannabis so far, how we can help out HBCannU in their mission to be the future leadersin the field of cannabis, and HBCannU’s founding. Abeyi first gives an insider’s take on what the importance of the union of cannabis and HBCUs in the year 2020 and beyond is. He goes into detail about the reasoning behind starting HBCannU. Finally, he discusses where he sees HBCannU in the field of cannabis and catering to the HBCU community in the next five years.
Tommy G. Meade Jr.: In your own words, tell us more about the link between HBCUs and cannabis if there is one. Why is this significant?
Huey Abeyi: “The disruption of the school to prison pipeline coupled with the ability to tap into a multi-billion dollar globally budding industry offers much-needed relief for HBCUs. The ability to offer ownership and employment opportunities via the cannabis industry within our community is a sure-fire move towards economic freedom. In December 2018, the Farm Bill was signed making CBD with 0.3 percent or lower levels of THC and clears more than $160 million in funding for Land Grant HBCUs — Florida A&M University’s Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative are developing a pilot program to teach K-12 students about medicinal cannabis, [and] FAMU receives $10 for every $75 identification card purchased by individuals approved to purchase medical marijuana as part of the 2017 legislation.”
“Southern University [became the first] historically black university to launch a THC line of products [and] a CBD line, becoming the first to do so.”
Tommy: What would you like to see more of surrounding this particular topic and how could we (HBCU alumni and students) better assist you in your mission?
Huey: “Awareness via education and socio entrepreneurship is the key to bringing the black community into the forefront of this multi-billion dollar globally budding cannabis industry. HBCannU is a for-profit cannabis-based social enterprise designed for the sole purpose of creating cultural value and utilizing the profit from that value to target and disrupt social inequalities that impact our people throughout the African Diaspora. Our mission is to shift the culture by expanding legal cannabis literacy via HBCU and Black Culture worldwide.”
“In our quest to create effective opportunities that empower our black youth via the holistic upliftment of our black communities throughout the African diaspora, we decided to look no further than researching and utilizing legal elements of the very plant that has historically been used to destabilize and destroy our family structure via mass incarceration. With the updated status of CBD and hemp legalization via the 2018 Farm Bill, we decided to create and control our narrative by ensuring that our people had direct access to a black-owned brand providing premium farm bill compliant CBD products that are unapologetically catered to them.”
Tommy: Speaking of this, what is HBCUCannU’s mission statement and where can we find more information, i.e. website, social media sites, etc.?
Huey: “Our goal for starting HBCannU was to ensure that we had truly owned black cannabis brands in this industry to ensure that we as people are not left out of this legal cannabis industry. When we decided to start our brand, we knew we wanted to lead the way in ensuring that our community has easy access to the world’s best farm bill compliant CBD products. We guarantee that our CBD products are made with the utmost care and the finest ingredients available. We are deeply committed to the holistic empowerment of black people by providing premium CBD products with exceptional customer service experiences that directly lead to the global elevation of our culture, for our people.”
Tommy: Talk to HBCU Buzz more about how and why HBCUCannU was founded.
“In simple terms, conviction, action, and execution are just a few active ingredients that separate the HBCannU brand from other franchises. We are designed for the sole purpose of creating cultural value and utilizing the profit from that value to target and disrupt social inequalities that impact our people throughout the African diaspora. We ensure that this is done by dedicating 25 percent of all net profit to our cannabis education, cancer, and recidivism programs.”
“This passion also impacts our commitment to ensure that we provide our consumers with premium quality CBD products coupled with exceptional customer service experiences. These premium CBD products include but are not limited to our flavored extracts, gummies, soft gel caps (curcumin and melatonin included), and even a line of options for pets. In addition to the line of proprietary CBD products, HBCannU also sells a line of premium, branded apparel, and ancillary products. As a franchise offering, HBCannU boasts an incredibly affordable start-up price for a turnkey opportunity that comes with cultural influence and a defined demographic that is unlike others due to its trans-generational nature.”
Tommy: Do you think that there is any potential for an increase in revenue regarding these two things — black colleges and cannabis? How will this be done?
Huey: “The potential for increased revenue due to the commingling of these two multi-billion-dollar industries is massive. Unlike other demographics, the HBCU demographic is a trans-generational target market and with CBD now being a part of the $16.5 trillion dollars valued health and wellness industry the opportunities to address health issues within both our young and old generations simultaneously will prove to be this generation dot com era for those who are properly positioned.”
Tommy: Where do you see things happening with your brand and HBCUs within the next 5 years?
“Within the next 5 years, HBCannU will be the top cannabis brand in this space and will have franchises available nationwide ensuring that black people are properly represented at the ownership level. From franchising to community impact, HBCannU will be the first black cannabis company to be valued at over a billion-dollar valuation.”
Tommy: Anything else that you would like to add?
Huey: “All HBCannU products will be available for sale and delivery within the next week so please come by and allow us to serve you.”
Huey Abeyi went to the U.S. Navy and is a service-connected disabled veteran. He is 28 years old. You can follow HBCannU on Instagram at HBCannU, FB at HBCannU, Twitter at HBCannU, LinkedIn at HBCannU, and on their website here: www.HBCannU.com.