Meet the man behind black-owned friendly cannabis rental app Vibesbnb

Deontae Mack is a black entrepreneur who founded Vibesbnb, a black-owned online startup, where it lists cannabis-friendly rentals. The site has more than 150 listings, mostly in Florida, and Mack said about 2,000 users signed up in the first year.

Born in Michigan, he moved to Florida at age 22 to attend Florida International University. He was unable to graduate because, like many Americans, the school quickly exhausted its student loan funds, which hampered his progress and eventually led him to become an entrepreneur.

“I grew through networking and a strong character. From ages 22 to 27, I worked for different companies like Best Buy and AT&T. satisfied with the hourly wage,” Mack told Travel Noire.

In 2017, he became Airbnb host, after getting his first apartment in Hollywood, Florida. While riding Uber and Lyft, one of his passengers told him he was staying at an Airbnb in South Beach and recommended that he try out as an Airbnb host.

And that’s what he did. The very first month he started hosting on Airbnb, he earned around $1,200. “It was crazy for me because the roommates were only paying around $600-700. Quickly I saw the opportunity. Like any other job, if you focus 100% on one goal, you can get real results quickly in the hotel space.”

A Cannabis-Friendly Community

Courtesy of Vibesbnb

Mack told Trave Noire that the development of the app came after three years of working on Airbnb and understanding the value of networking, creativity and the desire to solve the problem of education in the community of the cannabis.

This happened after he noticed his occupancy rate was dropping and he had to think about new business opportunities. He came across an article that Florida had just approved a bill in 2016 allowing medical use on private property.

“It was the first time I started to think like an entrepreneur. I thought to myself, this is the beginning of the cannabis experiment in Florida becoming legal and America has stopped despising it like it did in previous years,” he said.

In fact, according to a cannabis market research firm BDSAcannabis sales in the United States could increase from $25 billion in 2021 to $42 billion in 2026.

However, market discrimination was rampant against black and brown people. In addition, many people use cannabis for different reasons. These discoveries got Mack thinking, “Where do you go to book a 420-compatible reservation?”

“I have spoken with over 3,000 guests and listened to their complaints and an overwhelming number of them have had their reservations cancelled, police called them or had just come out of a situation dealing with another host who described their cannabis legal as “drugs” on the property. Years later, I’m a product of the home-sharing economy. I opened my own online travel agency, Vibesbnb, and quickly doubled my income as a cannabis host.

In 2019, he took the concept of his cannabis-friendly rental app to Miami, as it was a growing region. He noticed that developing towns like Wynwood, Miami Beach and Brickell were attracting thousands of visitors.

Finance the business

“I had saved the Hollywood investment being complete and had raised seed capital from the family and opened a four bedroom, three bathroom home just 12 minutes from each of these locations. We rent rooms individually and provide a social and networking experience with local experiences like bud delivery from and slingshots from Street Dreams Rental.

In September 2020, www.empoweringpeoplefoundation.orgwhich helps individuals to build up a generational heritage, has decided to sponsor the start-up.

“This program has helped us find the tools we need to succeed. This prompted us to launch the app on April 20, 2021.”

Courtesy of Vibesbnb

Thousands of users have benefited from the app service, according to Mack. “We promise our users no fines, no calls to the police and no cancellations based on your communication and your choice of cannabis medicine. We allow users to find a cannabis-friendly host who enjoys serving customers in the cannabis hospitality space.

According to Mack, the app is unique because it focuses on postcode-based user experience.

“When visiting certain areas, we recommend nearby dispensaries and experiences and Miami vibes in that area,” he said. Soon, the app will enable bud delivery and vacation package experiences where customers can book an all-in-one cannabis hotel marketplace.

Related: Is Thailand Becoming The Next Go-To Destination For Cannabis Lovers?

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