With states all over already ahead of Georgia, legislators and black-owned investment firm Hemp Real Estate Investments, Inc. (HREI), are trying to make sure that more people of color will take advantage of this new opportunity that has caused many to be arrested.

For HREI, its mission is to be an investment vehicle to acquire commercial real estate properties for entrepreneurs in the hemp industry.

The founder of HREI, Tariq Khan, told The Atlanta Voice that the federal government has been against hemp for commercial purposes but says they are starting to relax the laws for daily use.

Born in Cleveland, Khan has called the metro area home since the late 1980s and has worked in the engineering, fashion, and music industries before founding HREI earlier this year.

“It’s more along the lines now as the states are taking the turn,” Khan said. “Colorado’s doing it. Illinois is doing it. Everybody’s trying to find their niche and being able to jump into a market that realistically, for our people, has been locking us up.”

Next to bamboo, industrial hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants to be used for commercial purposes. Derived from the can Sativasativa species of the plant, it contains the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The lower the concentrations of THC, and high concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) the chemical can be used for medical and recreational purposes.

Used for over 50,000 years, its fibers can be spun into everyday products like paper, rope, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, and food.

HREI’s business model includes six core components: acquisition of commercial real estate; long-term leasing opportunities and property management; leveraging minority participation; hemp education and research; and hemp accessories, products, and services.

With the hemp investment industry beginning to grow, Khan says that “we’re all at the tip of the spear” when it comes to jumping into the opportunities this new endeavor can bring to the city of Atlanta and the African American community.

With Black people being more than three times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, according to the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Khan wants HREI to help African Americans to profit off the plant instead of being imprisoned for it.

Having what he calls having a lot of “social equity” in building relationships in many different facets of business, Khan is working with legislators like U.S. Congressman Kwanza Hall and State Senator Zahara Karinskak to create laws that will be in favor of cannabis usage and easing charges for first-time drug offenders in the state of Georgia.
Since it is illegal to buy and ship hemp and marijuana in the peach state, Khan has also been meeting with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) to begin the process of hemp being grown and processed here the along with other major crops like peanuts and blackberries.

Currently, Georgia has issued a handful of licenses for growing and dispensing purposes and less than ten licenses for dispensaries in the entire state.

When mentioning this revelation, Khan says that he has seen lawmakers like Hall and Karinskak working hard to see how they can pass this progressive industry in a majority conservative state.

Last month, HREI launched its capital-raising campaign to foster high-level inclusion and create more opportunities for diverse ownership by empowering hemp businesses and entrepreneurs.
Khan says his driving force with this new venture is to “create wealth, create jobs, and create more opportunities for people of color.”

He continues, “my vision for Hemp Real Estate Investments is being able to create a new investment platform for marginalized communities that want to get into the cannabis space but have a more conservative risk appetite.”

They campaigned with Fundanna, creating a space for “your average Joe” to become investors and increase ownership of the underserved. Being the first regulated crowdfunding portal, Fundanna works exclusively with cannabis businesses in the U.S like HREI.

For those who have wanted to invest but may think it is too expensive, HREI is offering their shares for $300 to help acquire commercial real estate to be used for entrepreneurs in the hemp industry.

Intending to raise $5 million on Fundanna, Khan adds that with HREI, “we will be able to create opportunities that start to level the playing field and to see our people win.”

Leveraging Atlanta as a hub for global business and a unique climate for business success, the startup also plans to build a “state of the art” commercial real estate office space and a research and development space for entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.

Khan wants more African Americans to invest in hemp and cannabis and thinks that they should first do their research and learn about the laws already in place for their local area. He says educating yourself could help to reduce the misinformation as to what you should and should not do concerning marijuana and hemp.

To find out more about Hemp Real Estate Investment, Inc. log onto their website http://www.hemprealestateinvestmentsinc.com/ and to purchase shares in their company go to https://fundanna.com/equity/offer-summary/HREI

Tariq Khan, founder, Hemp Real Estate Investment, Inc. (Photo Credit: Leo Marshall)

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