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New York’s 2nd recreational cannabis dispensary opens; It’s the 1st one owned by person with past pot conviction

<i>WCBS</i><br/>A second recreational dispensary opened Tuesday morning
A second recreational dispensary opened Tuesday morning

By John Dias

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — It’s another big day for legal marijuana in New York City.

A second recreational dispensary opened Tuesday morning, and this one is owned by a person who has a previous pot conviction.

There was an eager line of people excited to make their way into the city’s latest legal pot shop.

The grand opening also signifying the opening of doors to more opportunities for people previously incarcerated for marijuana offenses.

“I find that honestly beautiful,” one person said.

“It’s a huge deal. A really big deal,” said another. “It’s to support the social equity.”

New York state passed a law that lawmakers say will right a social justice wrong, by taking victims of the system and giving them the first batch of licenses to sell marijuana legally.

That’s what’s going on for Roland Conner, who has a previous marijuana conviction. He will run the business with his son, Darius.

“I’m actually proud of my dad. He seen me going in a path he didn’t want me to, and he helped me out, and this is where we are now,” Darius Conner said.

Officials say this is the first, but not the last. One hundred and forty nine people like Conner will soon get their license. The process is inspiring for Coss Marte, who was first in line Tuesday.

“I’m here to show support. This man was incarcerated for something that is now legal. I feel like this is some sort of reparation and history,” Marte said.

Marte has been arrested nine times. Most offenses, he says, are cannabis related. Now he’s hoping to turn that hardship into a hardworking business.

“I’m living in a dream. Thank God I said ‘guilty.’ Because I am applying for a license myself,” Marte said.

As for the shop that opened Tuesday, it will be a pop-up stop at first, then will undergo a major renovation in a month and re-open again.

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