Honeysuckle is proud to present “Asians Across The Supply Chain: Profiles In AANHPI Cannabis,” in partnership with Dutchie! Through this final week of AANHPI Month, we will be introducing you to cannabis industry stakeholders who are building the foundation for this evolving space and pioneering the brands that serve the ecosystem as a whole. These professionals come from all across the cannabis supply chain, proving that each sector functions in tandem to build an inclusive, expansive and growing industry.

Meet Britni Tantalo, co-founder and President of the New York Cannabis Retail Association (NYCRA) and co-founder of Flower City Dispensary.

What Is The New York Cannabis Retail Association (NYCRA)?

NYCRA is a membership association connecting all New York cannabis industry stakeholders across the supply chain. Created by Britni and Jayson Tantalo, owners of Flower City Dispensary, and Coss Marte, founder of CONBUD, NYCRA steers the state’s legal marketplace toward an equitable future led by those who come from the plant’s cultural roots. Also a lobbying organization, the association works toward a legislative agenda representing the interests of cultivators, processors, retailers, and other participants in New York cannabis. With the motto “Collaboration Over Competition,” NYCRA aims to create educational pathways in cannabis and ensure access to resources in order to establish a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive industry.

Britni is a woman minority New York State Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) and a Social & Economic Equity (SEE) applicant looking to obtain a retail dispensary license as Flower City Dispensary. She holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a minor in economics, and an MBA in accounting from St. John Fisher University. 

Britni Tantalo, Coss Marte, and Jayson Tantalo (C) NYCRA

See Britni Tantalo And NYCRA Members At New York’s 2024 CWCBExpo

Britni, Jayson, and Coss will be speaking at the 2024 Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCBExpo) at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City on Thursday, June 6th. They will be panelists during the two-part session “Journey To Legitimacy: The OGs and OQs of Cannabis,” which presents perspectives from the influential men and women who have transitioned from the legacy to legal market.

CWCBExpo 2024 takes place June 5-6, 2024. For tickets to the expo and its official conference programming, visit cwcbexpo.com. You can also catch Honeysuckle founder Ronit Pinto speaking at the expo. Use promo code HSM30 for 30 percent off exhibition hall and conference passes.


Join NYCRA For CWCBExpo’s Official After-Party On June 6th

Following “Journey To Legitimacy,” which is the show’s final panel of the day, join NYCRA and friends for CWCBExpo’s official after-party on June 6th at The House of Cannabis museum in Soho. Featuring food by Chef For Higher, music by DJ Cat Ouellette, and five floors of activations by over 30 of New York’s leading brands, this night will be one for the books. Tickets are FREE but space is limited - click here to get yours now.

*Editor's Note: For more about NYCRA's CWCBExpo after-party, check out our interview with the founders here!

Courtesy of Britni Tantalo

Britni Tantalo On The Asian Community And Entering The Cannabis Industry

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: What is your heritage?

BRITNI TANTALO: Asian American (South Korean and White). 

What advice do you have for Asians looking to enter the cannabis industry?

My advice for Asians looking to enter the cannabis industry is to be prepared because this is not a mature market and things are volatile. You must educate yourselves on regulations, become familiar with community organizations such as NYCRA to learn from people already in the industry, and to NOT hold back on entering because you may feel there is no place for you in cannabis. 

Despite a small number of current Asians within New York cannabis, we are here and we are growing. Resources are available to the AANHPI community just like any other minority group, so seek them and utilize them. Without representation of the AANHPI community across all facets of the supply chain, it will be more difficult to create future pathways for people who look like us and that come from the same heritage as us. It’s personally important to me to make sure that the AANHPI community has accessibility to resources in order to build businesses and legacies within the cannabis industry like everyone else. The AANHPI community has been a part of this plant’s failures and triumphs pre-legalization and deserve to have a space post-legalization. 

The stigma is still real. What is something you wish the Asian community knew about the cannabis industry?

The stigmas surrounding cannabis within the Asian community are very extreme and are heavily ingrained in our society and culture. The consequences legally surrounding cannabis in some Asian countries can lead to losing your life by execution. With these types of harsh realities that exist within the Asian community, it is evident why Asians within cannabis show staggering numbers. 

I wish the Asian community knew more about the medical benefits of cannabis and how if studied, this plant could surely do so much more for mankind. That the plant is a natural remedy that can offer healing, increased quality of life and be an alternative to pharmaceutical medicine that cripples so many. That cannabis, if de-stigmatized, could bring financial and economic growth that create opportunities for the people and neighborhoods that make up our Asian communities. The amount of information that exists today regarding cannabis as medicine or on other emerging cannabis markets throughout the world is much greater than ever before. It’s crucial to educate yourself first to truly make an informed decision about cannabis. It’s even more important to then provide pathways to show others within the Asian community so de-stigmatizing the plant can begin to occur and permanently change. 

The CWCBExpo after-party, presented by NYCRA, takes place on Thursday, June 6, 2024, 8-11:30PM at THC NYC, 427 Broadway in New York City. Click here to get your tickets on Eventbrite. For tickets to the CWCBExpo and its official conference programming, use code NYCRA30 for a 30 percent discount. Learn more at cwcbexpo.com.

For more information about the NYCRA, follow @nycannabisretailassociation on Instagram, or fill out the form linked here to onboard as an NYCRA member.

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Britni Tantalo

Jayson Tantalo


"Hawaii" Mike Salman


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Featured image: Britni Tantalo with Issue 16 of Honeysuckle Magazine featuring Erykah Badu. Courtesy of Britni Tantalo.