New ground is about to be broken in New Jersey.
NJBIZ reports that Tahir Johnson — the owner of Simply Pure Trenton — is set to become the first entrepreneur with a cannabis-related conviction to own and operate a legal-use dispensary in New Jersey.
“We’re really proud to be opening and excited to show the community what we’re doing and show that we can compete at a high level,” Johnson said, according to the outlet. “I don’t want to just be the best Black-owned dispensary or social equity dispensary. We really want to be the best dispensary here in New Jersey and, I mean, really the best in the country or the world for that matter.”
Previously, Johnson worked in the finance field with a six-figure investment job.
After being inspired by Hope Wiseman, co-founder and CEO of Mary and Main, he quit and worked at a local dispensary in Maryland to learn more about the cannabis industry.
While working there, he saw in real time how life-changing cannabis can be for people.
Now, he’ll be an inspiration for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs to be a part of ending the stigma around it.
“We’re really trying to do it to send a message to other folks that are out there that it really is possible and we just want to be an example of that and continue to inspire and help others get here as well,” he said.
Along the dispensary, Johnson is an advocate for social equity.
“I think New Jersey is already an example for social equity and how minority-owned businesses can thrive in the market. I definitely think a year from now, we’ll have some success stories and we’ll be telling a different story and we hope to be one of them,” Johnson said.
The opening of Simply Pure Trenton is set for July 2023.