When Eddie Osefo, husband of “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Wendy Osefo, smiled at another castmate during an event in the show’s seventh season, the moment quickly enveloped into scandal when she accused him of flirting.
Accordingly, the other wives dubbed him “Happy Eddie” because he is (*checks notes*) generally polite and kind to those he is somewhat acquainted with. The scene went viral because of the “nuttiness,” as he put it, of mistaking kindness for wrongdoing.
“I guess a smile really does go a long way,” Eddie Osefo told theGrio over email.
For Osefo, the smile in question has gone all the way to the bank, as it’s become the name of his new cannabis brand in collaboration with Curio Wellness. Ahead of the return of “Real Housewives of Potomac” for its eighth season on Sunday, Osefo sat down with theGrio to discuss his eponymous new brand and what it means for a Black man to enter the cannabis industry today.
Can you tell us a little more about your background and your history with cannabis?
I am an attorney by profession; however, Eddie Osefo, the person, is an entrepreneur, a father, a husband, and an everyday professional who happens to use cannabis. I would characterize myself as a social smoker. The first time I tried cannabis was in college at the University of Maryland, College Park, at a party sophomore year, and I have had a relationship with the plant ever since.
What led you to launch your own brand, Happy Eddie, with Curio Wellness?
I decided to enter the cannabis industry when Maryland legalized marijuana use for adults in 2022. To enter into an emerging industry in my home state where I can make an immediate impact was a no-brainer. More specifically, due to the licensing processes in place at the time, I knew I needed to do more than just hop into this industry, so I sought out an established and reputable partner.
I was immediately attracted to Curio Wellness because they were a family-oriented business with women at the helm. With a father and daughter as co-founders, another daughter as the CRO (chief revenue officer) and a son as General Counsel, I knew Curio had the local and family-focused approach to growing business and would be great partners to launch a new brand in an industry filled with regulations.
How does it feel being a Black man with a legal cannabis business in a state with adult use —especially knowing how cannabis has historically led to the over-incarceration of Black and brown people?
It feels momentous. I am breaking barriers for those to see and follow in an industry where Black cannabis entrepreneurs account for less than 2% of the nation’s [cannabis] businesses, while Black and brown people were nefariously impacted and disproportionately incarcerated by the “War on Drugs” and cannabis demonization.
After the legalization of adult use in Maryland, and as public attitudes surrounding cannabis continue to change in our country, with the launch of Happy Eddie and the partnership with Curio, I hope to bring visibility to Black-owned brands, lessen social stigmas around cannabis, and normalize adult consumption.
I also plan to utilize my platform and privilege as a Black man with a legal cannabis business to help other Black and brown people enter this industry and spotlight efforts and programs seeking to address injustices in disadvantaged minority communities that were disproportionately targeted for enforcement as part of the War on Drugs.
What is included in this collaboration, and what are you most excited for consumers to try?
With this partnership, the product line will include flower and pre-rolls available at Curio Wellness-owned Far & Dotter and Pharmkent dispensaries, as well as select dispensaries across the state of Maryland.
I’m most excited for consumers to first introduce themselves to the brand with the two strains currently in the market, Energized Eddie and Mellow Eddie. But also tune into “Real Housewives of Potomac” because Curio and I have a special third strain dropping this season that is definitely going to be a showstopper.
What’s next for the Happy Eddie brand?
We are enjoying the beautiful journey in the cannabis industry and have our eyes set on growing the brand here in Maryland and potentially entering other markets, such as Missouri.
Kay Wicker is a lifestyle writer for theGrio covering health, wellness, travel, beauty, fashion, and the myriad ways Black people live and enjoy their lives. She has previously created content for magazines, newspapers, and digital brands.
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