Manuel Caban is a lifelong Camden, New Jersey, resident who was arrested twice for marijuana offenses and a decade ago spent 30 days and then a year in prison for dealing. That, he figures, makes him an ideal candidate for a license to sell cannabis now that New Jersey has legalized it with a focus on giving individuals who suffered under cannabis prohibition a solid path into the industry. “I’m not a bad kid. I just got caught up selling weed,” said Caban, 38, who now runs a small catering business and intends to apply for a license to open a cannabis store in the city with two Camden friends, who also grew up poor in rough neighborhoods. “If they want to right their wrongs, this is their opportunity,” Caban said at a cafe, a few blocks from where he and his partners, Aaron Streater, 44, and Keith Glover, 37, want to open their store, Loud House, in a closed coffee shop across from City Hall. Other states that have legalized recreational cannabis in recent years, such as Illinois and Massachusetts, have been trying to make such amends for people with marijuana convictions, as well as for people of color and women. But so far those efforts, in an industry expected to generate $24 billion in sales this year, have had only limited success, said Tahir Johnson, a Trenton native and director of social equity and inclusion at the United States Cannabis Council, a Washington group that lobbies nationally for cannabis legalization.

420 Intel – Marijuana Industry News, 10/24/2021 20:00:00

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