East Orange 5K Marathon
On August 26th they are holding a Back-to-School 5K marathon. Roll Up Life will be giving out book bags and school supplies to students from K-12 and college. They are also planning on raffling computers and iPads to those in need.
In addition, there will be a $5,000 scholarship awarded. Those in 11th and 12th grade, as well as current college students, are eligible.
“We’re very excited to promote health and wellness as well as back to school,” Roll Up Life Founder and CEO Tiyahnn Bryant explained. “Community is important.”
He said he knows how beneficial it is to get a computer and what it’s like worrying about the cost of college.
“I want to do this annually hopefully we can give out full scholarships,” Bryant noted. “Hopefully we can touch as many of the youth as we can.”
Event sponsors include GTI Rise Bloomfield, Ascend Montclair, Apothecarium Maplewood, and the Proud Loving Communities real estate company. In addition, East Orange native and football player Jabrill Peppers, formerly with the New York Giants and currently with the New England Patriots, is helping out too.
Medals will be given to the winners.
Building Roll Up Life
Bryant has been at the forefront of those seeking a New Jersey Adult Use Cannabis Delivery License for a while. They are also seeking a dispensary license.
He is a young Black native of East Orange in Essex County. Bryant is also a legacy operator or underground cannabis vendor. So he is a Goldilocks license applicant that many in the New Jersey cannabis industry and community want to see open.
But Bryant does not qualify as a Social Equity applicant. Thus, initially he had to wait till September 2024 to apply. But he spoke along with noted cannabis attorney Fruqan Mouzon and cannabis entrepreneur Claudia Post during the July meeting during public comment.
(Full Disclosure Claudia Post and Fruqan Mouzon are Heady NJ Patreon Subscribers).
After public comment, the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC) passed a resolution that Diversely owned companies can apply starting December 27th. Others can apply starting March 27, 2024.
By then the Heady NJ article on the July meeting was published quickly in the zeal to provide the cannabis community with the latest news.
East Orange Cannabis Issues
Roll Up Life is trying to get East Orange grant approval to operate a New Jersey adult use cannabis dispensary and delivery service.
However, while East Orange is allowing cannabis lounges, it is a fairly small town. Thus, finding a location is very hard especially when their Green Zone where cannabis companies are allowed is small too.
But despite reporting by NJ.com that the political influence of NJ Democratic State Chair Leroy Jones, was exerted Bryant emphatically declared “It wasn’t political. There was no property in East Orange. Things got taken out of proportion. I probably should have been talking in the public.”
His deputy Precious Osagie-Erese took that initiative. However, “Precious and I have decided to split apart,” he explained. “I support her wholeheartedly.”
He noted she is starting her own company on focused on marketing to women.
Bryant noted another applicant nearby won. Distance is a big issue like in Jersey City where dispensary owners want to protect their turf.
“You’re not going to win every game. That doesn’t mean you won’t win the Championship. It’s all about how you respond,” he explained.
“I love my city we’re definitely committed to the city of East Orange,” Bryant emphasized. “East Orange looks at us like the way we look at East Orange with love and affection.”
He explained East Orange is in the process of an ordinance change comparable to Paterson that would allow for more licenses and expand the Green Zone where cannabis companies are allowed.
“I think a lot of municipalities are starting to see how conservative they were,” Bryant noted.
Roll Up Life has found a better property now. Thus, he is very optimistic. There are also advantages to staying around your hometown.
“(East Orange Mayor) Ted Green is a hell of a karate instructor,” Bryant said warmly.
One of his Math teachers is now the Council Chair. His former swim instructor is also on the council now.
“It’s a very close-knit community,” Bryant noted. “It’s longer our grandparents’ generation that runs the politics.”
“I have the utmost confidence in the city of East Orange and the local government here. They can understand where we’re coming from,” he declared.
Roll Up Life App Role Out in New York
Roll Up Life’s software is about to launch on New York City adult use cannabis delivery company apps this October. Their coded software is being licensed to five services opening.
Senior User Interface (UI) designer Kevaughn Francis designed the app. TB also credited their Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Semaj Andrews for his work on it.
“It should be a dope. I’m really excited for the app. I’m really excited for the POS (Point Of Sale) system,” Bryant explained.
He is up for the challenges on feedback of the app.
Growing Roll Up Life
Bryant noted they have won pitch competitions for capital or money in a quest that has been hard for many and have closed on a property.
“They’re not investing in your company. The difference between us is not our name. It’s who in charge of it. I feel investors are investing in me. I feel I do a good job of selling it,” he explained. “I’ve walked away from more than one deal.”
However, everything has contingencies. They need to secure municipal approval to secure further funding.
His legacy operations functioned as his seed capital and he is the sole owner of Roll Up Life.
While running a large company that has red tapes issue can seem daunting to some, it is not to Bryant.
He is confident he can deal with compliance issues via Metrc software. Bryant has become well-versed in financial regulations along with city, county, and state laws that would apply to Roll Up Life.
The Roll Up Life Director of Operations H.H. Tribue previously worked at UPS and FedEx and Amazon, which should help as well.
NJ Adult Use Cannabis Delivery License Issues
Bryant is also seeking to change via legislation the nuances of the New Jersey adult use cannabis delivery license.
He believes the way it was written there will be very thin margins for New Jersey adult use cannabis delivery companies. They must comply with a lot of red tape which increases their expenses or overhead.
“It’s going to be so hard for people to keep their doors open because of the margins. The margins will be freaking terrible,” Bryant declared.
He noted the cost of keeping up a delivery service going like insurance, employee pay, software, and transportation are high.
“It’s extremely hard. We’ll see a lot of people in the game and leave faster than it took me faster to get in,” Bryant argued.
Delivery was supposed to be the lowest-hanging fruit.
“It’s what a lot of minority people are using to get inside the cannabis industry,” Bryant noted.
He wants New Jersey adult use cannabis Delivery services to have their own inventory and storage, and be able to deliver to the consumer. In that way, it becomes a mobile dispensary. It’s similar to the business model of an Ice Cream Truck.
It has been a big issue in Massachusetts.
“This is how we actually benefit the SE companies,” Bryant argued.