Future marijuana business owner hopes to use store to better people's lives
A man who has been given the opportunity to open a marijuana shop on Long Island tells News 12 his business will teach youth how a business is run while also focusing on those who need marijuana to live their best life.
Gary Perodin says he is excited about being added to the list of six more shops who won licenses to open a recreation marijuana store on the island.
Perodin says this opportunity is a change of narrative for people like him and his partner Jonathan Whitaker.
Both Perodin and Whitaker were arrested for marijuana. The difference is Perodin says he was never charged but his partner was, and it changed the trajectory of his life.
"I look at everyone else now that doesn't have to have that issue and stigma," Perodin says.
Regulators are issuing conditional credentials to New Yorkers who have successfully run businesses regardless of being convicted under previous marijuana laws.
Perodin says he still has to find a location, equipment he'll need, and other items needed to run a business.
When they are up and running, Perodin says there will be a focus on non-recreational marijuana to help those who need it live a better life.
"It's not just about 'Hey, I want to sell weed to guys,'" Perodin says. "It's truly about the efficacy of what this drug can provide and yes, for people who want to use it casually too, that's a smaller subset that I'm concerned about."
Perodin tells News 12 he hopes to open their business in Nassau County, which currently isn't allowing recreational marijuana stores.
The towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southampton are the only Long Island towns to approve recreational marijuana sales.