At just 30, Nike John is among the youngest CEOs of a cannabis retailer in Massachusetts, but she’s infusing her store, the newly opened Heritage Club, with a sense of Old School cool.
Like really Old School.
“This is our generation’s Prohibition,” she says, explaining the store’s “Roaring 2020s” speakeasy feel, noting she chose the name as a reminder that cannabis is actually a very old business. “It’s a new legal industry, but it’s been around for a really long time.”
With a finance degree from Northeastern University and a 10-year career working in real estate, John got involved in cannabis in part because her mother suggested it, but also because after learning about the War on Drugs, “a social justice business and mission was the right calling for me.”
John focuses on creating a space to help crush stigmas associated with cannabis and uses her store as a platform for minority-owned and mission-driven companies, with up to 30% of her product stock coming from those producers.
As part of her required Positive Impact Plan, she also founded the nonprofit Heritage Home Foundation to offer closing cost assistance in Boston, hoping to help others build generational wealth as she builds The Heritage Club, which is the first dispensary in Boston owned by a Black woman.
“I’ve been trying to find different ways to make it so that you can run a business that’s profitable, but you can also make a difference,” she says.