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Family-Owned S.F. Dispensary Prepares for Takeoff

Among them, cousins ​​Kina Middleton, Eric Grayson, and Charles “CT” Tony II saw it almost all. As San Francisco people for many years, the three have been stuck together through the loss of a loved one, a period of mental illness, and a long effort to open the first entertainment clinic in the Park Merced area.

Even the name of their new venture is a testament to hardship and patience.

“Flight is a brand I came up with many years after my mother died,” Grayson explains in a recent phone call with science fiction weekly. “It’s a homage to my mom. She got cancer and we took her all over the world before she died.”

Family is all the important beliefs that Flight aims for. Toney is technically a person with a social equity license, but each of his three cousins ​​meets the criteria individually. It was Grayson who gathered the trio to propose to join forces with a completely legitimate effort as someone traditional (unlicensed) grew up.

“I was still shit on the street and brought it home while my cousins ​​were doing positive things,” says Grayson. “No matter how long it takes, I just wanted to do it legally.”

Things began to get worse after he talked with the landlord about his desire to file a breach of the city, according to Grayson. Following the success of Proposal 64, the non-compliance claim was the idea that unlicensed growers would serve as an opportunity to “clean up” in exchange for amnesty. However, both Grayson and private warehouse owners have long been on the same page about the use of space to grow pots, but they haven’t noticed that they are transparent about the operation. ..

Grayson’s landlord said he could do whatever he wanted, but he said he needed to start looking for a new place to grow. Fearing the consequences of continuing to fly under the radar, the cousins ​​finally chose to file a claim.

Grayson and his family avoided legal implications for their guerrilla cannabis operation, but the decision involved some collateral damage.

“We still lost everything,” says Grayson. “The entire business was lost. All money and equipment had to be liquidated.”

From there, the path to opening a legal clinic is not an easy one. As we began the process of obtaining a social equity license, our cousins ​​encountered the first major obstacle. It is a requirement that the applicant provide proof of the proposed business lease.

Charles “CT” Toney estimates that he was tasked with applying for a potential property and was forced to consider more than 150 buildings before finally signing a new home contract at 61 Cambon Drive. I have. He says he wore a suit over and over again to make a pitch. This highlights his business background and insider knowledge of the local community and the cannabis industry.

He even hired an expensive real estate consultant to say, “Tell me what to say.” Even if I tried my best not to leave the checkbox unchecked, the result was always the same.

“They come back to me in the impossible,” says Tony — “for us, or for those in our position. They ask to hold a million dollars.” Or you’ll want you to prepay your one-year rent. ”

Tony initially thought the issue could be unique to San Francisco and its record real estate market. But then he asked his white friend to take his plan and apply it to Tony and his cousins ​​for some property that made such a large request.

“He went to one and told him they would cost the first and last month’s rent and a $ 30,000 deposit. They basically said it would be $ 1 million, then about $ 60,000 or I told him I could start with $ 70,000. “

This kind of systematic injustice is exactly what Tony, Middleton, and Grayson want to help fix Flight, which will host the Grand Opening on Saturday, July 17th.

For example, in the time it took cousins ​​to get Flight up and running, they realized that some of the struggles they endured indicate at least regulators in urgent need to improve their processes. Cousin.

“I think much of what we’ve experienced has helped us fine-tune the experiences of people starting today,” says Middleton. “If you apply now, [instead of a lease] All you need is a statement of intent, which is much easier to obtain. It would have helped us a lot, but at least now it’s helping someone. That’s all that matters. “

This optimistic view goes beyond the ideas of our cousins. This is also the brand that will debut on Flight.

The official timeline is still approaching, but according to Grayson, Tony, who often “preaches the power of a positive atmosphere,” calls the line a positive vibe, which focuses on flowers and health when it goes on sale. It is said to have both edible hits.

Tony’s desire for a positive vibe — focusing on mental health as well as physical well-being is a gesture of special significance to Grayson.

“I don’t give this much,” says Grayson. “But I have bipolar disorder and also suffer from extreme PTSD. I tried to commit suicide twice. Cannabis pulled me away from lithium and lorazepam. I have been taking medication for about 7 years now. When CT said he wanted to make something good for people and their hearts because he wasn’t drinking, Kina and I said, “It’s deep. Let’s do it.'”

“After all, we want to help people,” Tony adds. We want to be an example for young black children. We want them to see that you don’t have to be on the street. You don’t have to do that. Don’t fall today. We want to show them that you know that you can be a light for young people, be able to do legitimate things, and be successful and support your family. “


Zack Ruskin covers SF Weekly cannabis.twitter @zackruskin



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