VS Client Spotlight Series: Devin Alexander of Rolling Releaf
Apr 11, 2022
VS is excited to share a series of client stories with the purpose of inspiring the next generation of leaders in the cannabis industry. Our second spotlight focuses on Devin Alexander, the co-founder of Rolling Releaf, a Black-owned and social equity-certified Massachusetts adult-use cannabis delivery company.
Spotlight: Devin Alexander
Devin Alexander is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rolling Releaf and Vice President of the Massachusetts Cannabis Association for Delivery. More than that, Devin is one of the activists who played an important role in encouraging the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission to move forward with the cannabis delivery license type and ensuring the regulations would allow social equity businesses to succeed in the industry. In 2021, his industry peers recognized Devin as the “Massachusetts Cannabis Activist of the Year” during NECANN’s New England Canna Community Awards. At the 2022 event, he was awarded “New England’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year.”
What led you to the cannabis industry?
“I was very passionate about cannabis from an early age. Many of my immediate family members consumed cannabis, so I never saw it as something bad—no matter how much the D.A.R.E. program tried. I started working as a budtender at one of Massachusetts’ first medical dispensaries in 2017, eventually working my way up to Director of Community Outreach. I began doing local cleanups and fundraisers, and organized an expungement clinic to help individuals remove nonviolent cannabis crimes from their criminal records. In 2019, I was accepted into the first cohort of the Massachusetts Social Equity Program and completed it in early 2020. The entrepreneurship track gave me a good understanding of how to go off and start my own cannabis business.”
If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the cannabis industry, what would it be?
“If I could snap my fingers and change one thing about the industry, it would be the access to capital. Some states have funding mechanisms for their cannabis entrepreneurs, but that is not the case for every state. We cannot get a bank loan due to the federally illegal status of cannabis, so obtaining capital becomes a very arduous task—especially for people of color.”
If you had to do it over again, would you do anything differently?
“Honestly, there is nothing I would do differently. In the beginning, I really wanted to work in the industry, but there weren’t many people hiring because adult-use wasn’t legalized yet. To make myself stand out from the crowd, I took online courses from Cannabis Training University and started going to any cannabis-related networking event I could find just to get myself out there. That went on for months before I finally landed my first job in the industry.”
What advice would you give to the next generation of cannabis entrepreneurs or leaders?
“My advice to the next generation of cannabis entrepreneurs or leaders is to have patience. This process is like a marathon, not a sprint—it will not happen overnight. Also, surround yourself with like-minded individuals who believe in your vision. If you want something bad enough, you will either find a way to obtain it or an excuse for why you couldn’t do it.”
VS is proud to work with Devin and help his dream become a reality. It’s an honor to share his story.
About Rolling Releaf
Launching in 2022, Rolling Releaf is an adult-use cannabis delivery operator that aims to safely and conveniently deliver Massachusetts consumers the best cannabis available by partnering with industry leaders and equitable businesses. Founded by two longtime friends who discovered that they shared a common love of cannabis and a desire to make a difference in the community, Rolling Releaf is a Black-owned and social equity-certified business looking to make the industry more inclusive. More information is available at rollingreleaf.org.