The Rise of a Colorado Cannabis Entrepreneur

Wanda James describes herself and her husband, Scott Durrah, as “serial entrepreneurs.” They’ve owned restaurants, consulting companies, and they are the first African American dispensary owners in Colorado. However, the goal is more than just bringing pot to the people. In the mid-nineties, James became viscerally aware of the issues surrounding cannabis and the arrest of young black men when her brother was sentenced to 10 years for possession at the age of 17.

“The reason why my husband and I are in this industry is to bring light and awareness to the issues surrounding social justice,” she says in this documentary produced by Kelly Loudenberg for The Atlantic’s American Dreams series. “We have massive issues with the people who are arrested that look like us for simple possession.” James and Durrah’s dispensary is set to open at the end of 2015, and they also plan to open a marijuana cooking school next door.

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