What is the name of your business and when did you start?
Yamba Market is the first adult-use establishment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We opened in April of 2022, with a historic Block Party that included Hip Hop Legend, Doug E Fresh, and The Get Fresh Crew.
Where can people find you / your products / your service? (location, online, email, or social media?)
Yamba Market is at 580 Massachusetts Ave, in the heart of Cambridge’s Central Square, known for its arts culture, and progressive values.
How many employees does your company have?
Yamba Market employs just over 25 people and continues to hire regularly.
What services or products do you offer?
Yamba Market has quickly become known for having one of the largest connoisseur-curated, adult-use cannabis menu offerings in the entire state. As an independent retailer, Yamba Market maintains numerous relationships with both local and national brands, creating a true “local buyers market” for their cannabis consumers.
What was your mission or purpose at the start of your company?
Our mission was to create a professional, licensed, cannabis business that would be highly focused on creating a welcoming cannabis culture while respecting the legacy cannabis culture, and changing the stigma around both. We invest in diversity and inclusivity as we build out our team, and constantly work to build up and support other brands. In our first year all promotions were internal, allowing opportunities for growth and development for future cannabis industry and market leadership. Yamba Market was created to be the weed store for everybody. We cater to the experienced connoisseur, and help the cannabis-curious navigate their first steps. Yamba Market has aimed to be a model Economic Empowerment Retailer that continues to broaden the market and increase equitable opportunities as we grow.
What made you choose to start a company in this industry?
Coming from deep roots in unlicensed and legacy cannabis, the legal licensed opportunities offered an enhanced ability to have a really positive impact on people, neighborhoods, and communities that have been harmed during the Drug War, and to address many of the cultural stigmas. We wanted to create jobs and change the culture for the better.
Why do you feel your business is important to the community?
Yamba Market is a uniquely valuable type of retail experience. Local, honest, Veteran and Black-Owned, with a true legacy background. Co-Owner and CEO, Sieh “Chief” Samura, was an Army Truck Driver in the Iraq War, and has been a well known cannabis rights activist and cannabis community caregiver, in Massachusetts for over a decade. Yamba Market is sophisticated, informative, and valuable to those we serve. It has become one of only a handful of homegrown brands that is dutifully living out the vision of local licensed cannabis that voters were looking to create. Yamba Market is a true home-grown original.
Does your business give back to your community?
By working with other businesses, law enforcement, elected officials, and active locals. We have held public safety, and educational meetings in our community meeting space, “Yamba Joint”. And will be organizing and promoting donations to local vet shelters this fall. Yamba Market also worked with City Councilor Denise Simmons to remove the punitive “Impact fee” requirement for all equity-oriented cannabis establishments in Cambridge, adding to all of their bottom lines. Yamba Market has received the Best Small Business Award from the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce in our first year of operation, becoming a verified model for cannabis retail in Cambridge. Yamba Market is and has been serious about leading the cannabis culture through its local renaissance, and it shows.