Roland Conner, his wife and son just made history.
On Jan. 24, it was widely reported that the family opened Smacked Village, the first Black-owned cannabis store in New York City.
“I am so excited to become a part of history as the first individual to open a legal cannabis dispensary in New York City,” Conner said in a statement, according to NBC New York. “Given my experience with cannabis, I never could have imagined that I would be opening a store like this.”
He continued: “When people come together passionately to fix something, they can actually make things happen. And I’m a living example of that now,” said Conner as he prepared for the store’s opening.
The venture comes decades after Conner faced up minor offenses in his youth related to weed possession, specifically a conviction in 1991 sent led to him being jailed for months.
It wasn’t until fairly recently that the state of New York legalized the recreational use of marijuana in March 2021 with the first 36 licenses being awarded in November.
a Democrat, hopes Conner’s venture will serve as a model for other would-be entrepreneurs.
“This dispensary is the latest example of our efforts to build the most equitable and inclusive cannabis industry in the nation,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a January statement. “As we continue to work toward righting wrongs of the past, I look forward to new dispensaries — owned by those most impacted by the over policing of cannabis prohibition — opening soon.”
More information about Smacked can be found here.