DETROIT (WXYZ) — When it comes to cannabis possession, people of color are three times more likely than their white counterparts to be arrested.
But when it comes cannabis ownership, Black people only account for 4% of all owners and founders in the industry.
It’s a lopsided disparity that’s driven one Black couple in Detroit to try and rewrite the narrative.
The couple opened Copper House Detroit, the city’s first marijuana friendly bed and breakfast. It’s become a popular destination for both cannabis-consuming travelers and local pot lovers.
Just beyond the hustling, bustling strip of the Avenue of Fashion is a quiet little home you’d never know was a budding business.
The house rules are simple: If you’re 21 and older, you can live a 4/20 life 24/7.
“Don’t wear shoes in the house, use what you need, leave what you don’t,” Copper House Detroit owner and founder Jessica Jackson said.
The 3,000-square-foot living space is one of the few places where an overnight traveler can wake and bake.
The name of the business has a connection to Jackson.
“I have a deep obsession with copper,” she said.
It’s pretty obvious if you take a look around — it’s in almost every thing you touch.
“We’ve got copper ashtrays, too,” Jackson said.
And it wouldn’t be complete without a copper bong as well.
When Jackson and her wife Jacqara bought the home in 2018, it wasn’t meant to be a business. But when marijuana became legal in Michigan, the couple felt a nagging desire to get their piece of the pot pie.
“I wasn’t able to get into it the way that I want, as someone who carried a lot of debt.
So, they decided to leverage their home, the one resource they did have. But Jessica and Jacqara would be two of very few.
“How many of the leaders within cannabis companies are still white men,” Jessica Jackson said.
Black people are just about as likely as white people to consume marijuana, but while 80% of business owners identify as white, just 4.3% are Black.
“It’s a lot of systemic issues over time, who has access to wealth… it’s a very expensive game to play,” Jessica Jackson said.
She says being a Black, queer woman “fueled every part” of this effort.
Today, the business is thriving. The B&B is also open for event rentals, pushing the envelope of what can be possible in cannabis.
“Copper House gets to be a bridgemaker as well. We have the cannabis industry booking our space,” Jessica Jackson said.
When 7 Action News visited the venue, it was hosting a consumption party with recruiting company FlowerHire.
The kind of events in demand, range from educational, tea parties, intimate gatherings and girls nights.
The B&B has hosted a pot-jama party and has even done elevated marijuana infused dinners.
“We respond to the community,” Jessica Jackson said. “That’s really what we’ve tried to do out of our home is create a space where folks feel welcome and invited to be themselves.
They also want people to feel inspired by the kind of hospitality that lives up to their high expectations.