It took just one year for Alphonso Tucky Blunt to go from winning the license lottery and securing a loan to opening the doors of Blunts + Moore - the first dispensary opened under the equity program in Oakland.
In late 2017, Alphonso received a phone call from his friend Michael Marshall, the voice of I Got 5 on It, asking if he’d “ever caught a case in Oakland.” Which, despite Blunt recalling as a strange way to open a phone conversation, he had and subsequently led to his winning of 1 of 4 (by way of a bingo-like drawing) equity-based licenses and the bright orange storefront we now know as Blunts & Moore.
“Shout out to the Equity Program, Keith with Purple Heart & Councilwoman Desley Brooks.” Not one to take a handout without considering the bigger picture, Blunt appreciates the opportunity granted to him through the equity program, but has visions and is taking action to create a better system through first-hand experience. Namely realizing quickly that it needs more in the way of education and funding. It needs to prepare winners to take on the challenges and seize the opportunities that they’ll soon be facing. They need to know how to avoid bad deals, predatory lending, rent gouging and the like to give them a fair chance at success with their newly acquired license.
As a fifth-generation Oakland native, there’s arguably no person fitter to represent the city than Blunt. There is an exact address in 1999 that he fondly remembers as the location where his grandmother returned to the car with a white paper bag of her medicine on one of their routine errand runs and his knowing that he would someday have his own dispensary. Just beyond his foresight were the facts that this exact future shop would be located just 8 blocks from this granny’s house and just 14 blocks from where he caught his case.
Tucky was cleaning cars at 8 years old, worked for the county for 13 years and is still a certified Tesla detailing trainer but weed has long been a supplement to his income. And the night that he was arrested (supplementing his income) in many ways allowed for the orange awning-covered communal gatherings we saw regularly before Covid and look forward to again. Not only was he released on bail the following morning, Friday, but he began work at Alameda County and bumped into the officer who had arrested him on the way to lunch that Monday.
This same officer was also a part of his most recent Zoom call with the County following the looting of his store in early June of this year. After watching (literally via security cameras from his home) the damage for almost 10 hours he finally put out a message, a call-to-action, “Don’t Retaliate, Educate,” and began work on the I Got 5 on It! charity event. A quick call to industry veteran, Berner let him know he was moving in the right direction. And despite his offer to financially aid Blunts + Moore directly, Blunt asked that he instead offer his talents to supporting the festival and giving back to the industry at large. Blunt’s unmatched work ethic and commitment to his community made securing a lineup including Berner, Too $hort, Cam’ron, Mike Tyson, Krayzie Bone and countless others a breeze AND allowed for over $30,000 to be donated to dispensaries in need.
If you haven’t elevated or expanded your craft in the past year, it could be said that you’ve let time slip by. Tucky is already hard at work developing the future of I Got 5 on It!, looking to expand the reach of equity brands through consultation and plotting the growth of Blunts + Moore. If you’re intrigued by the latter and share an interest in community, expanding education around & increasing funding for equity businesses and believe in offering the best weed at affordable prices then it’s probably high time to reach out - you’ve still got a few weeks left in the year to try something new.