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What Was The First Dispensary Run And Operated By Formerly Incarcerated Individuals?

NEW YORKApril 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Showing their commitment to promoting an equitable cannabis industry for those disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) today awarded a conditional adult-use retail dispensary (CAURD) license to Coss Marte, Alfredo Angueira, and Junior Martinez, co-founders of CONBUD. The world’s first cannabis dispensary run and operated by formerly incarcerated individuals,  CONBUD will celebrate the grand opening of its Manhattan storefront in early fall 2023 with delivery service to all 5 boroughs beginning this summer.

“Every generation stands on the shoulders of those who did the time so that we can be more free. For the hundreds of thousands of Black and Brown New Yorkers like me who spent years doing time for cannabis offenses, this opportunity is our 40 acres and a mule,” said Coss Marte, CONBUD CEO.  Marte’s first cannabis offense took place at the age of 13 when he was arrested at a park in his Lower East Side neighborhood.  After serving 6 years in state prison, Marte launched CONBODY, a world-renowned New York City fitness studio also run and operated by formerly incarcerated employees.

For many cannabis policy reform activists and entrepreneurs like Coss Marte, Alfredo Angueira, and Junior MartinezNew York’s CAURD license program signals welcome progress for New York’s drug war victims. CAURD licensees are the first retail dispensaries to open for legal adult-use cannabis sales in New York State, establishing businesses owned by justice-involved individuals as the bedrock of New York’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

“During the War on Drugs, 85% of New York State’s prison population was Black and Latino, and 75% came from just 7 neighborhoods in New York City,” explained CONBUD co-founder and CCO Alfredo Angueira. “CONBUD was born by 3 Black and Latino individuals who were raised in 3 of these 7 neighborhoods. Not only have we experienced New York’s criminal justice system firsthand, but we are committed to leveraging New York’s recreational cannabis industry to bring much needed employment stability to those who have been affected by it.”  A lawyer, community advocate, and successful hospitality mogul, Angueira also spent two years teaching legal research skills to Rikers Island detainees, most of whom were pretrial defendants in custody for drug charges.

“CONBUD will be a dispensary, an interactive experience, and an opportunity for millions of cannabis consumers to confront New York’s history while playing an active role in rewriting it,” added CONBUD COO Junior Martinez who also spearheads NYC’s award-winning Hoodspitality Group.  “The ‘B’ in our logo was intentionally designed to resemble the number 13, which serves as a subtle reminder of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  CONBUD is a celebration of freedom as well as a reminder of the incredible price so many of us have had to pay for it.”  As fate would have it, CONBUD’s awarded OCM CAURD license number is 000013.

For more information, visit CONBUD.COM

New York has one all consuming habit:  mass incarceration.   We lock up a higher percentage of our people than almost any democracy on earth, and it all began in 1973 with the War on Drugs.  Come say high , and we’ll tell you all about it. Founded in 2022 by Coss Marte, Alfredo Anguiera and Junior Martinez, CONBUD is the world’s first and only dispensary group run and operated by formerly incarcerated individuals. We are plant advocates, anti-recidivists, prison reform activists, community builders, and ex-convicts on a mission to provide New Yorkers with premium cannabis and New York’s formerly incarcerated with second chances.   Time spent in prison can reduce a person’s lifetime earn­ing poten­tial by half a million dollars. In New York State alone, impris­on­ment trans­lates to nearly $2 billion annu­ally in reduced earn­ings, over­whelm­ingly extrac­ted from communit­ies of color. Each and every CONBUD sale is designed to help reduce New York’s 43% recidivism rate by supporting a company that provides formerly incarcerated New Yorkers with employment opportunities in the cannabis industry.  Out of prison should never mean out of work.



Source: PRNewswire