Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Morris Kelly's great-grandfather was a sharecropper who bought his own freedom.
In Part 1, Morris, who today owns SF Roots cannabis company, shares the story of how he came to grow up in The City. He chronicles the various schools he went to, talks about Muni rides to arcades and movie theaters all over town, and car rides with his grandparents on which they'd visit non-chain stores and restaurants.
He shares stories of leaving San Francisco—to visit family in Milwaukee, or to go to Baptist conventions in the South with his grandparents—and the lessons he learned on those trips.
Uninterested in conventional high school, Morris found Urban Pioneers—an outdoor program for students that got them out backpacking and exploring various spots around California.
Morris got out of high school and, as he puts it, went on to "goof off" at City College.
In Part 2, Morris shares some of the pot edibles he was making with a friend. This was back when California had legalized medicinal marijuana, but not yet recreational. And the US government, as they still do to this day, more than frowned upon even this limited use.
Morris walks us through the evolution of his business, from a medicinal marijuana cultivation and delivery company known as "San Francisco Roots" through to what SF Roots is today—an equity cannabis company based right here in The City. He tells us about San Francisco's Cannabis Equity Program, whose stated goal is to "lower barriers to cannabis licensing to those hit hardest by the War on Drugs."
We chat about how COVID has impacted the business. And then Morris ends the episode with his take on the future of San Francisco.
We recorded this podcast at SF Roots HQ in April 2021.