In April 2022, Alicia Deals found out she was the recipient of one of Arizona's social equity cannabis business licenses. Through determination, faith and grit, she is now the owner of an adult-use dispensary in Tempe, and the first Black woman to operate with a state-issued social equity license.
Deals is a rising star in the cannabis industry, but her father, Robert Deals, is serving time in prison for cannabis-related charges. While her father languishes in prison for cannabis sales, she is now licensed by the state to legally sell the same plant.
“Everything comes full circle. The opportunity to open a dispensary is a once in a lifetime opportunity; who better than us?” Deals said. “Our family’s biggest burden has now become our family’s biggest blessing. We are using the power of our growing voice to raise awareness about my dad’s unjust sentence and to bring him home.”
On May 30, Deals and her family will be at her father’s side at a court hearing to put pressure on the prison system to release him for time served. Robert, a 10-year Air Force veteran and ordained minister, is currently on year 12 of an 18-year sentence in a Yuma, Arizona prison.
“When someone you love goes to prison, the whole family goes to prison,” Deals said.