“Cannabis, our family’s biggest burden, has now become our family’s biggest blessing,” says Phoenix-based cannabis entrepreneur Alicia Deals, who is fighting the justice system to bring her father home on May 30, 2023.
PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 11, 2023) — Alicia Deals, the first Black woman to operate a cannabis dispensary stemming from a license awarded from Arizona’s social equity program, is a rising star in the cannabis industry while her father, Robert Deals, serves time in prison for cannabis-related charges. A tireless advocate, she and her family will be at her father’s side at a May 30 court hearing to put pressure on the prison system to release him for time served; he is currently on year 12 of an 18-year sentence in a Yuma, Arizona prison.
In April 2022, Deals found out she was the recipient of one of Arizona’s social equity cannabis business licenses. Through determination, faith and grit, she is now the owner of a fully licensed, fully operating adult-use dispensary, and she is the first Black woman to operate with a state-issued social equity license. Soon, she will be bringing to Arizona one of the most popular national names in cannabis, Cookies. While her father languishes in prison for cannabis sales, she is now licensed by the state to legally sell the same plant.
“Everything comes full circle. The opportunity to open a dispensary is a once in a lifetime opportunity – who better than us?” Alicia Deals said. “Our family’s biggest burden has now become our family’s biggest blessing. We are using the power of our growing voice to raise awareness about my dad’s unjust sentence and to bring him home.”
Robert Deals, a 10-year Air Force veteran and ordained minister, has served 12 years in prison for selling marijuana. During his entire sentence, his family has tirelessly stood by his side, navigating an unjust system with the odds stacked against them each step of the way. On May 30, they will go fight again and ask for the court to honor his time served already, for his sentence enhancements to be removed, and to run the charges concurrently.
A natural entrepreneur, Alicia Deals is the founder of Life Changers, a company she created when she realized that other families, like hers, needed professional assistance.
“When someone you love goes to prison, the whole family goes to prison,” Deals said. In addition to her dispensary work, she plans to launch Life Changers Law Firm and other entities in which she can help give people hope and change lives.
High resolution images of Alicia Deals can be found here. Interviews with Alicia or Robert Deals are available upon request.
About Alicia Deals: Alicia Deals is the first Black woman to operate a cannabis dispensary stemming from a license awarded from Arizona’s social equity program. She is the founder and CEO of Life Changers, and the owner operator of Cookies dispensary in Tempe, Arizona. Ironically, her father, Robert Deals, is incarcerated, having served 12 years of an 18-year sentence in a Yuma, Arizona prison stemming from a cannabis conviction. Alicia has made it her mission to have her father released from prison. A natural entrepreneur, she is the founder of Life Changers, a company she created when she realized that other families, like hers, needed professional assistance. In addition to her dispensary work, she plans to launch Life Changers Law Firm and other entities in which she can help give people hope and change lives. Alicia feels that it is now time to bring attention to her father’s story and put pressure on the prison system to release her father for time served. To learn more, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadie Thompson, Senior Publicist, Proven Media