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Trailblazers of color in the cannabis industry honored

BCC Founder Al Florant, Henry Lanclos, Honoree Rev. Anthony Trufant, member Robin Sarli, and Citiva’s Colleen Hughes.
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Brooklyn Cannabiz Collective, held its first awards ceremony to honor trailblazers of color in the cannabis industry on Thursday, June 27. More than one hundred investors, business people, elected officials, community members, and others interested in learning about cannabis related opportunities, gathered at Bedford Manor, a lounge / restaurant located at 1177 Bedford Ave. to celebrate their own.

In November of 2018, Bedford Stuyvesant native, Al Florant, convened a group of likeminded people of color in a midtown conference room to hear a Skype based presentation by Erik Range, an Orlando based medical marijuana advocate. Florant, a long-time investor, had convened the “Mastermind” group to explore economic potential related to the “Cannabis Gold Rush” that has been sweeping the nation.

Florant’s vision was to create a space where community members could exchange information and best prepare to take advantage of the impending benefits of participating in one of the latest high-profile investment arenas ever seen. As Florant put it, “I saw major investment opportunities in real estate and tech pass by many from my community, and I didn’t want to sit by and watch the same happen with the cannabis boom we’re seeing today.”

Citiva, Brooklyn’s first cannabis dispensary, located on Flatbush Avenue in the North Flatbush Business Improvement District sponsored the Brooklyn Cannabiz Collective’s Trailblazers Awards ceremony. Colleen Hughes, Citiva’s director of Community Development and Education talked about the importance of learning about the benefits of “the plant,” which has medicinal and other uses.

The evening featured Trailblazer Awards in the areas of Courage, presented to Reverend Anthony Trufant of Clinton Hills’ Emmanuel Baptist Church; Education, presented to Gia Morón, President of Women Grow; Advocacy, presented to Sirita Wright, co-founder of Estrohaze; and Diversity, accepted by Grizzly Bocourt on behalf of cannabis advocate, Mary Pryor, co-creator of Cannaclusive.

In addition to recognizing industry trailblazers, the event’s attendees received an update from Assemblymember Tremaine Wright on Albany’s recently concluded legislative session, an update on the cannabis economic and investment landscape by Debra Borchardt, co-founder and CEO of Green Market Report, and sound advice on how to approach investments in the cannabis arena from Alicia Holmes founder of Journey to Wealth. Also in attendance was New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. The event, which received rave reviews from attendees was described as having a Grammy’s-like feel.

To learn more about the Brooklyn Cannabiz Collective visit them on Facebook: @BrooklynCC420, Instagram: brooklynca­nnabizcoll­ective, and Twitter: @BklynCannaBiz, or email:

Updated 3:44 pm, July 15, 2019
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