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New Jersey is amongst the 4 newest states out of a total 12 that voted to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21 in the United States. As a New Jersey resident and cannabis enthusiast, I couldn’t be higher…I mean, happier! Not even the legislative efforts moving at snail’s pace could bring me down. Fellow Jerseyans should be equally excited; not just about the end of cannabis prohibition in our state, but also for the brilliant businesses that have emerged to innovate our experience! Roll Up Life, Inc is the leading tech based cannabis delivery company hailing from East Orange, New Jersey. “ Leading” as in first and black owned! The team includes: Founder and CEO Tiyahnn Bryant COO Precious Osagie Erese CFO Kevin Monangai Together they provide transportation services and also offer products like teas and gummies. Since COVID-19, social distancing protocol has created a new demand and so, a cannabis transportation and delivery service is quite timely. Though it seems like an easy concept to conjure, it takes a spark of genius, long hours of research, careful planning, and undaunted determination to manifest. It takes alchemy. I had the privilege of speaking with Tiyahnn Bryant, before the new year. The interview was an informative virtual smoke session. Tiyahnn was unflinchingly confident and dropped pearls of knowledge gained from his experiences and hard work. His words are like water, poured to inspire the next cannabis entrepreneur from the seed of an idea, to it’s germination and growth. Though the interview was coached by talking points, the energy was genuine. I logged off the call with a note page full of wisdom, feeling encouraged. (This piece has been edited for syntax and length purposes.) Get to Know Roll Up Life, Inc.
plays in the back of my head like the soundtrack to the interview. The website banner boasts in bright green and white Wiz Khalifa’s “Roll Up” “When you need us, we’ll roll up”, loosely referencing lyrics some of us have been thriving by for years. Tiyahnn and I both log on with freshly rolled blunts and commence to talking about how Roll Up Life, Inc, came to be. Tiyahnn: “ About 4 years ago I was sitting in the car smoking with my cousin and my phone wouldn’t stop ringing. It kept going off, “BING, BING, BING”. All I wanted to do was smoke but people wanted what they wanted. Suddenly it was like a light switch went off in my head. I got out of the car without saying anything…left my cousin looking at me like I was crazy.” He recalls taking logistics into consideration, from distance between consumers and dispensaries, to product availability. These details would eventually outline the services provided by the company. Roll Up Life aims to close those gaps and secure its place in New Jersey’s budding legal cannabis industry. Even when he speaks about how the name and slogan for the company was chosen, Tiyahnn expresses that the concept represents the ease and everyday manner of the service. Roll Up Life represents both the delivery aspect as well as the stoner community language for preparing paper or gum rolled cannabis. Colloquialisms in the cannabis industry (much like those in the Black community) have a keen way of coming full circle in life. Limitations in the Legal Cannabis Industry- Roll Up Life Says the Limit Doesn’t Exist It’s no secret that Black people are more likely to be arrested and charged with cannabis related offenses than white people, even with legalization spreading throughout the United States. This type of disproportion causes disparities in some aspects of the cannabis business. We often contemplate and perpetuate these types of thoughts as a collective. What we don’t realize is that meditating on the unfortunate strategies of systemic racism can block us from thinking past those limitations. Tiyahn speaks on understanding the schematics of cannabis business and never allowing these “limits” to stop him from achieving his goal for anything, much less the goals Roll Up Life . I asked for his commentary on disparities in the cannabis industry for dispensaries and licensing, not realizing that I was approaching the subject with the same limited scope now understood to be illusory. This was Tiyahn’’s response: “I try to look at why something is the way it is, so I can’t be mad at the licensing in NJ cannabis. If 6 people are handling 6 different aspects of a business, then 6 people should be able to handle all that comes with the licensing. If I just get into the business without doing my research and being prepared, I’m not gonna make it.” Sometimes we are bent on an aspect of something that is so small, we don’t step back to see the bigger picture. We need to widen our scope. Consider calculus…the limit of a function exists ONLY if two one-sided limits approach the same value. So the limit must be approached from two sides, tending towards infinity without definition. Translation: there are too many ways to break into the cannabis industry to truly be condemned by the limitations that exist in that space. When we are used to living and learning within these limitations, the naysayers, family, and friends included, who may not initially understand the vision, have to see it illustrated to believe in it. “Stop doing what you’re doing to what?” Tiyahn recalls his family’s reaction to his change in career direction. Instead of getting mad or giving up he “ stopped talking and became [it]”. And as he dedicated time to more research, made connections that would propel his idea forward, family support increased. The limit became less tangible while the vision became more obtainable. What others might see as obstacles to overcome, Tiyahn references as reality already achieved. “As long as you believe in yourself it doesn’t matter what anybody else believes.” Manifestation starts with operating on the mental frequency of that very ideal being sought. Cracking the code is simple when we understand that we are the authors. The Final Word When the embers of our respective blunts are ashed, and all the questions have been asked I close the interview by asking Tiyahn for some last words on which to meditate, to which he replies: “Go off of what you’re good at. Don’t go trying to adjust to the cannabis industry, Adjust the cannabis industry to you.” An alchemist is a master of his life. He utilizes what he has to create the reality he desires in the simplest of ways that seem like complicated magic to a limited mind. For those of us walking through the door of the cannabis industry with ideas, both big and small, we must adopt the way of the alchemist. Approach from all angles, because the limit does not exist. Roll Up! Written by: Dom Hart Edited by: Veronica Castillo Sponsored by: Herb of Life Cultivation, LLC Korasana (with partner Zero Point Extractions) Peacock/ Wunderkind CBD The Botanical Joint Portland Ashwagandha Farm Blunt Babe Thank you all for supporting the mission of this blog by taking care of the Writers! With your support, we are able to educate, inform, connect, and break stigmas. Cannabis builds community, and we are grateful to you all for being a part of ours! Please visit our sponsors! Collectively, they compensate the Writers for their contributions to this blog.