Breaking barriers, highlighting social equity in the cannabis industry
Alicia Deals is the first Black woman to operate a cannabis dispensary stemming from a license awarded from Arizona’s social equity program.
But while Deals is a rising star in the cannabis industry, her father, Robert Deals, is serving prison time for cannabis-related charges.
A tireless advocate, Deals and her family are working to put pressure on the prison system to release him for time served.
“As of now, we are in the post-conviction relief process,” Deals said. “We are more than hopeful that this journey will be coming to an end. He’s done much, much more time than he should have ever done. We are in the twelfth year of his prison sentence, and we are hoping for it to come to a fundamental end,” she said.
In April 2022, Deals found out she was the recipient of one of Arizona’s social equity cannabis business licenses. Through determination, faith and grit, she is now the owner of a fully licensed, fully operating adult-use dispensary. She is also the first Black woman to operate with a state-issued social equity license. Her dispensary will operate under the popular national brand, “Cookies.“
“I see it as my fundamental purpose to bridge the gap between those who have suffered and those who have benefitted on the basis of cannabis,” said Deals. Deals continues to work tirelessly to use her business to bring change to the industry as well as her local community.
“I’m using this platform and my growing voice to raise awareness for my father and others suffering still on the basis of cannabis, hoping to bring change and to bring people home,” said Deals.