New York State Convicted Him. Now It’s Made Him a Weed Pioneer. | Turn 420
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New York State Convicted Him. Now It’s Made Him a Weed Pioneer.



Inside, Queen Burr, 32, of Manhattan, hovered over a case containing small jars of smokable flower. Behind the counter, Gabriel Encarnacion, the store’s chief procurement officer, guided her.

“I like taste,” she told him. “That’s the terpenes,” he responded, referring to natural compounds that affect the taste, smell and color of cannabis.

Ms. Burr settled on a fruity strain from Harney Cannabis and another citrusy one from Lobo. She said she did not expect to entirely replace her dealer, who sells cheaper products, but that she’d continue to support the dispensary if she likes its offerings.

Eliz Cruz-Irvy, 42, a fitness consultant from the Bronx, reached the front of the line in the late morning, after waiting for over an hour. She applied for a license last year through the Bronx Cannabis Hub and is still waiting to hear if she got one.

While her own journey has required patience, she said she was eager to support another member of the cohort.

“I’m supporting him like I want someone to support me,” she said. “If I have to stand an hour on line, then that’s what I have to do.”

Mr. Conner, who also owns a real estate business managing an emergency shelter in the Bronx, said in the interview on Sunday that he hopes to bridge the legal industry and the legacy market that existed before, starting with his own son, Darius, 25, who was selling weed in Florida before he joined his father last year.

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