In 2013, Joy Hollingsworth moved with her family from Seattle out to the country with a plan to build a cannabis business.
Washington State had recently legalized recreational marijuana, and Barack Obama had just been re-elected. For Ms. Hollingsworth, a former basketball player, and her brother, Raft Hollingsworth III, a former University of Washington student who had been growing medical marijuana, it seemed like as good a time as any to buy a farm and turn a profit.
So began the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company, a Black-owned family business in what has become a very white and increasingly corporate-dominated industry.
“Here are some city Black folks moving out to the middle of nowhere, a predominantly white area,” Ms. Hollingsworth, 36, said, recalling the early days in Shelton, a small city near Olympic National Park where the family built their farm. “I thought they were going to have a problem with us growing cannabis. The reality is most of our neighbors love weed.”