Venture cultivates Black-owned businesses

NOXX Cannabis, Forty Acres Enterprises plan to open dispensaries, production facility.
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The exterior window of NOXX Cannabis Dispensary, 2440 28th St. SE, Ste. C, features branding for 40 Acres House of Cannabis. Photo by Lisa Enos

NOXX Cannabis and Forty Acres Enterprises have joined forces to open a dispensary, a production facility and to cultivate relationships with potential new cannabis entrepreneurs by way of a pitch competition and product placement.

The new dispensary, 2440 28th St. SE, will open its doors Aug. 29, signaling the first phase of the joint venture between the cannabis brand and Forty Acres Enterprises, a Black-owned holding company involved in hospitality and real estate development.

The dispensary will feature Forty Acres’ House of Cannabis product line and offer more than 70 cannabis brands and 500 unique products. According to the dispensary’s co-owner, Tommy Nafso, the majority of the brands available at the new cannabis shop come from growers in Michigan. An official grand opening is set for Sept. 10.

A second facet of the partnership is a new 17,000-square-foot production facility located at 330 Ann St. NW that will streamline cultivation and processing, Nafso said.

NOXX is looking to hire 150 employees in Grand Rapids across three locations. The third facility is a dispensary in the Creston neighborhood that is slated to open later this year.

Signage is in place at NOXX Cannabis Dispensary on 28th Street SE. Photo by Lisa Enos

“This partnership with NOXX adds yet another source of economic stimulus into the region,” said Darel Ross, Forty Acres Enterprises owner and NOXX co-owner.

Nafso and Ross pledge to foster Black entrepreneurship and business cultivation. The partners announced a mentorship program that starts with the High Five Pitch Competition happening through Sept. 6. Five finalists will receive $5,000. The grand prize is $20,000 and guaranteed shelf space for their product at NOXX dispensaries.

A Pitch to Placement program aims to turn cannabis ideas into thriving Black-owned businesses and community resources. The program is intended to serve as an innovation “incubator” for Black involvement in the cannabis industry in Grand Rapids and across the state, they said. 

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with Darel and everyone at Forty Acres House of Cannabis to support Black entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry,” Nafso said. “We see a future where, together, NOXX and 40 Acres will enable the next generation of cannabis industry leaders to build and grow their businesses.”

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