Whoopi Goldberg and her business partner, Maya Elisabeth, are shutting down their marijuana company, Whoopi & Maya, after three years in the business, Fox Business reports. The owners of the company did not give a reason why.
In a statement on the company’s website, the company announced that it is “saddened” to have to close its doors.
“Though we’ve all come a long way, there’s far more to be achieved. This is simply the end of a single chapter in a larger story, one that we invite to continue,” the statement read, in part.
As Green Entrepreneur reports, Whoopi and Maya entered the cannabis industry in 2016, a comparatively rare instance of two women, and in particular a woman of color, getting into the quasi-legal cannabis industry.
Indeed, the company was not only run by two women, but its products were marketed to women. Goldberg, who says that she has used cannabis to treat her own menstrual cramps, marketed her products as a treatment for period pain.
“I have grown granddaughters who have severe cramps, so I said this is what I want to work on,” she said at the time.
The company offered four products — Soak, Relax, Rub, and Savor — available at dispensaries in both California and Colorado, two states where recreational marijuana use is legal.
Why the company was forced to fold is unclear.
However, Green Entrepreneur notes that the juxtaposition of federal law and state law may have played at least some role in the company’s failure.
Due to marijuana being illegal at the federal level, all of the state laws that allow for marijuana, whether for medical or recreational use, are effectively operating contrary to federal law. And while the feds have generally stayed out of the states’ legal marijuana programs, the absence of a federal regulatory system meant that Whoopi and her partners had to operate on a state-by-state basis, which made things difficult, to put it mildly.
For example, what was sold in a small glass jar in California had to be stamped with a diamond-shaped THC label in Colorado. Having to produce two sets of packaging and labeling supplies will, of course, add to the overhead of any business, let alone one that operates semi-legally and outside of federal law.
“After we launched, we started learning what worked and what didn’t and still have to continuously re-adjust course as regulations change, and we learn more,” had previously said.
Meanwhile, investors in the burgeoning cannabis industry are learning the hard way that legalization is not necessarily a license to print money. As Marketwatch reports, some cannabis stocks rather severely underperformed in 2019.