Matawana becomes Brooklyn’s first Black- and woman-owned cannabis dispensary

As legal cannabis dispensaries slowly open across the city, a new one in Park Slope has the distinction of being the first Black- and woman-owned in the borough.

The Matawana Dispensary, located at 14th Street and Fifth Avenue, officially became the sixth legal dispensary to open in Brooklyn on Thursday. Owner Leeann Mata is among the “justice-impacted individuals” that the state is prioritizing for dispensary licenses: her father and three of her five brothers have all faced marijuana charges.

“Draconian prohibition laws cost my family almost everything, but the plant itself is a healing herb,” Mata, a lifelong Brooklyn resident, said in a statement. “When it became legal, I used it to treat my anxiety and created formulations that helped my mother with pain and helped her conquer an opioid addiction. I have been able to support elders with homemade CBD creams.”

On hand at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was Mayor Eric Adams, who noted that “for too long, Black and brown communities have faced high rates of drug-related incarceration and have been denied opportunities to build wealth. As we close out Black History Month, New York City is taking steps to right the wrongs of the past by supporting equitable growth in the legal cannabis industry.”

Brooklyn Magazine visited Matawana, which is in a former Chase bank branch, on Saturday and found it to be spacious stocked with the usual array of cannabis in all varieties, including vapes, pre-rolls, edibles and more.

“Matawana is as real as it gets: Woman-led, Black-owned, Brooklyn-bred for generations,” Mata writes on her website. “Where old-school nostalgia meets premium, modern product.”

Security, as usual, was tight. IDs are checked at the entrance, photos are discouraged. The staff was friendly in helping this stressed-out anonymous writer select the right product (I went with a $40 Bliss THC/CBC Aryloom vape — smooth and relaxing).

Matawana is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The first legal one in Brooklyn only opened in December in Gravesend following a long wait because of legal battles.

The post Matawana becomes Brooklyn’s first Black- and woman-owned cannabis dispensary appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

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