Vic and his team took Leafly under the hood of his new legal weed venture, 93 Boyz, which happens to be Illinois’ first licensed Black-owned cannabis brand.
Spark your engines. The 93 Boyz are taking off with Illinois’ first Black-owned cannabis brand. In May, the company made its official debut with fire pre-rolls that come in tubes resembling foreign sports cars. Their flower hit stores shortly after, and they’ve been selling out of Chicago dispensaries ever since.
Founded by Chicago musician, entrepreneur, and actor Vic Mensa, who hopes to play Prince in a biopic one day, and Preston Oshita, also known as rapper Towkio, the brand comes complete with flavors like Super Donut and Hood Candies.
“As someone with a lifelong experience of anxiety and depression, it’s amazing to be able to help people facing those and other issues while working with something I love,” Mensa told reporters in June.
As things took off in real time this summer, Leafly linked with Vic and the Boyz in May to ask how they did it, what’s next, and where to find their products across Illinois.
What are you smoking right now?
A month after we spoke, those new genetics hit Chicago dispensaries in affordable $50 eighths. You can now order flavors like Super Donut, Jet Fuel OG, and The Lotto from Ascend dispensaries across Illinois using Leafly’s dispensary finder.
Giving back a portion of every puff
93 Boyz works with SaveMoneySaveLife, a Chicago-based Indigenous and Black- led nonprofit, to advocate for equity in cannabis and prison reform. Vic and the Boyz also gave out free gasoline to Chicago residents this summer, as prices peaked. The entire cannabis industry took notice of the brilliant promotional stunt, which further established the brand’s goal to pair top-shelf genetics with a core mission focused on giving back to the community.
“The war on drugs has had a devastating impact on my community, and yet our representation in the cannabis industry is less than 2%, Mensa told Leafly. 93 Boyz is changing that narrative while combining high-quality, tastemaker weed with socially conscious initiatives.”
Weed funded my early music career
What’s the highest you’ve ever been?
“Edible dinners. Infused dinners, they take me out this shit. It works every time. I did a TV show that was an infused Italian dinner. I had a great time. There’s a lot going on: Infused wine, infused bread. At the end, I start to realize, ‘Oh shit, I’m high as fuck!’ So the dinner finishes, and I’m speaking to this dude who used to be a Congressman. And I’m like, ‘Let’s exchange information or whatever. And he’s like, ‘Cool, what’s your number?’ I was like, ‘Damn G, I just forgot my phone number!’”
Cannabis enhances creativity—to a point
What is your favorite non-infused high snack?
Vic told us he recently realized that fresh fruit is the best snack for the munchies. He also heard If you eat mangos or citrus, it enhances your high by interacting with the terpenes.
“I also like orange juice with my mushrooms,” he revealed during the chat.
Sativa or indica?
“I can’t smoke sativas. We have a sativa called Mai-Thai by 93 Boyz that I was smoking last year on some, ‘uplifting work vibe.’ But in general, my anxiety is too much. Sativas don’t really mesh with that. I’m just an Indica person. It will have my heart beating (fast), singing ‘Green Light’ by John Legend.”
Sometimes I cheat on Mary Jane with mushrooms
Using meditation to elevate cannabis and psilocybin
“I’ve been meditating since I was like 16, and microdosing can interact with it very well. Sometimes I can go somewhere in my meditation. The Rastas smoke and meditate. I was just in Jamaica.”
Fighting for equity in Illinois’ cannabis industry
“Launching the first cannabis with minority ownership in Illinois dispensaries, the whole process in Illinois has been so bogged down with corruption, it’s just frustrating. But also a blessing to be able to get the product in the stores. We’ve been working on it for a couple years. We’ve been active and operational in the streets. But we’re just now stepping into the legal space. The ethos of the brand is that a significant part of our proceeds are going to go to different creative solutions to the problems that are faced by our people. Like, a program sending thousands of books into prisons in Illinois and potentially in California.”
“My life was changed by being able to help my friend Musa 12 years early on a 25-year sentence. And over that time, I’ve started building close relationships with some of my (other) people who are locked up. And I found that the most impactful thing that I’ve done in many ways has been sending them books.”
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