Today we’d like to introduce you to Ebon Johnson Sr.
Ebon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was a car salesman bored out of my mind on the car lot. Because my mind is always working. I felt trapped waiting for a customer to walk on my lot every day to make a sell. My girlfriend at the time told me about a guy she and her friends had gone out with. He was in the marijuana business. I was against the use of marijuana and had a hard time understanding how these people selling it were not going to jail. How it was semi-legal. I did my research and decided I would take a shot at this new business.
I started with $15,000 and a lot of ambition. I partnered with a friend in Temecula doing delivery, because I did not have enough money to open a store. There were a lot of delivery services in San Diego also. I remember it was a Thursday. Our first day open we did not make a sale. We did not make a sale until 11 pm the following day. I was excited to make $40 my first sale. It took 5 weeks before we had sales of $1000 a day on average. That partnership lasted almost 3 months. I split from that partnership and started delivery in San Diego around the time the federal government started to crackdown on the illegal stores operating in California. I got lucky.
My business skyrocketed doing almost 100 calls a day. I did delivery for 3 years while trying to acquire a legal store. I had just completed the process of getting approval from the city of San Diego to open a store and I got raided. That was a financial disaster. Because I spent a lot of money going through the process of getting a legal store open in San Diego. I was almost broke. I had to borrow a lot of money. I scrapped by until my store opened and I am still feeling the effects of that raid today. But, if there is no struggle. There is no appreciation from whence you came.
Has it been a smooth road?
No, it has not been a smooth road. The raid I could say had the most profound effect on my life within this industry
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mankind Dispensary story. Tell us more about the business.
Mankind Dispensary is different in the shopping experience a customer has. Most stores go by an old model of one budtender with jars helping the customer(s) in front of them. This is wonderful so the customer gets the full attention of the store. What it lacks is confidentiality. The budtender is involved in the browsing experience and that can feel pressured.
Not only to buy certain items, but also the people waiting to see that same budtender. In our store, we made it a regular shopping experience. Similar to a Vons or 7-11. The customer is free to roam the store at leisure without feeling the anxiety of slowing down the people behind them.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
This business will be mainstream and saturated. This is the glory years. Us small mom and pops know our time is coming to be swallowed up on day
- Address: 7128 Miramar Rd. #10 San Diego Ca. 92121
- Website: mankindcannabis.com
- Phone: 8582470953
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org