First African-American, Female-Owned Cannabis Business in CT



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New Haven, CT – On Thursday, July 5, 2018, CannaHealth™, a division of The Healing Choice LLC, hosted the grand opening of its new location in the heart of downtown New Haven, CT. On the heels of CannaHealth™’s first anniversary, the expansion will celebrate enhanced access to cannabis education and therapies; in addition to its participation in a new cannabis-business accelerator via The Higher Community, a division of MJM Strategy, LLC.


New Haven’s Mayor Toni Harp was in attendance, with other local leaders as well. Mayor Harp officially commenced the grand re-opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by brief remarks. Mayor Toni Harp celebrated the business at a grand-opening ceremony Thursday.


She said CannaHealth™ “is the latest, prime example of how New Haven is building on its legacy of innovation, even as the city adds to its reputation as a center for patient care and treatment of chronic conditions.”


She said breakthroughs in bioscience and personalized medicine have taught the world that traditional medicines and treatments don’t work for everyone. “Other medical treatments are appetite suppressants or leave patients nauseated; some patients — particularly the elderly — need appetite enhancement to maintain their strength and for added stamina,” Harp said, continuing, “The targeted, specialized, medicinal use of marijuana fits into the treatment picture in these cases, and has proven its value time and again. And now it yields a new business in New Haven, with the prospect for jobs, increased commerce, and improved outcomes.”


Business was brisk the first day in the second-floor space that has bright colors — purple walls and green accents — and a modern look.


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The pioneering leadership of CannaHealth™ includes New Haven native and founder, Kebra Smith-Bolden, RN, and corporate-to-cannabis crossover, Dasheeda Dawson, CEO of MJM Strategy. Both women support and participate in the missions of national and local cannabis advocacy and business platforms: Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Women Grow and the Connecticut Cannabis Conference.


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Smith-Bolden said her grandmother Hattie Turner, a well-known community activist and honored volunteer, cued her in on the medical benefits of marijuana long before it was a thing, telling Smith-Bolden at some point she needed to smoke a joint and have a bath to move easily.


So, later, when Turner had an aneurysm at 88 and became withdrawn, Smith-Bolden got her some marijuana and Turner became re-engaged, her speech improving, as well.


The dramatic difference in Turner always stayed with Smith-Bolden, and so when medical marijuana was approved she wanted to help bring it to the masses. In 2017 she opened a clinic at 326 Central Ave., moving now to the heart of downtown.


“As a nurse and lifelong New Haven resident, I was inspired to start CannaHealth™ to serve the community’s need for healthy and safe access to medical cannabis,” says Smith-Bolden. “Our new location will enable us to offer medical evaluations, information and empowerment to the people of New Haven, and I couldn’t be more proud.” CannaHealth™ is a leader in the state, providing MMP certifications to thousands of medical patients, including adults and children since the business first launched in July of 2017.


CannaHealth™ has been selected to participate in a cannabis business accelerator committed to diversifying the industry by fostering a portfolio of women and minority-led ancillary companies, in a pilot program of The Higher Community. MJM Strategy is the Cannabis industry’s first minority-led strategic consulting firm. The company is committed to serving patients and entrepreneurs; including people in communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.


“Partnering with Kebra Smith-Bolden to bolster CannaHealth™’s critical work allows us to fulfill this purpose,” says Dawson. “We’re excited for the future of CannaHealth™ in Connecticut, and the thousands of community members it will be able to serve. This grand re-opening marks the beginning of a bright new chapter for the company and its surrounding community.” CannaHealth™’s participation in the innovative accelerator will ensure accessible and expansive service to New Haven and the surrounding areas, and establish a national footprint.


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The Connecticut community can expect to experience and benefit from upcoming MMJ Certifications by CannaHealth™, an informative and empowering wellness seminar schedule, and a community-supporting business model that includes sliding scale prices for services provided to qualifying low-income patients; US Military veterans; and senior citizens.


Ethnic Online congratulates both RN Kebra Smith-Bolden & Dasheeda Dawson, CEO of MJM Strategy for being pioneers and changing the game!


To learn more visit:


Instagram: @gocannahealth

Twitter: @gocannahealth


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