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Weed Industry Embraces Ex-Cons Hit by Drug War

Measures, including low-interest loans, are crucial in bid to expand legalization.

A Tiny African Kingdom Wants to Export Its Cannabis to the World
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

A marijuana conviction used to mean a ban from the legal-weed business. Now ex-cons are getting preferential treatment.

Newly legal states Massachusetts and Illinois are offering low-interest loans, reduced fees and licensing priority to cannabis firms whose owners have marijuana-related criminal records. New York is considering similar perks in hopes they’ll help reignite a legalization effort that failed last year.