Convicted felon gets second chance through cannabis

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A convicted felon turned his life around through the cannabis industry in Grants Pass.

Benjamin Gilmore grew up in Wisconsin and said he started smoking weed when he was seven years old. He first got in trouble with the law in his early teens.

“I am 27 years old, these are mistakes I made when I was 12,” Gilmore said.

After his first encounter with police, things started to spiral for him. He was charged with three counts of possession of Marijuana and spend more than a year in Jail.

After going in and out of jail, Gilmore had a hard time getting out of the black market.

“It engulfed my life because I was so intrigued by how fast I could make money off of it,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore violated his probation and ended up in prison. That’s when he decided to turn his life around.

“I was able to take a good look inside myself and I realized this is not where I want to be living my life at,” Gilmore said. “I could pretty much kiss my life away and that’s pretty much where my life was headed.”

He took a leap of faith and moved to Oregon, hoping to find a job in the cannabis industry. But he faced an uphill battle. “Being directly told they would not hire felons,” Gilmore said. “It is hard when you have a past like that and no one wants to give you a second chance.”

Gilmore eventually found Indigo Gardens in Grants Pass and has now been there for one year.

Justin Wu, COO of Indigo Gardens said in that one year Gilmore has already been promoted multiple times.

“He has been promoted twice since he started his year, his work ethic just blew my mind,” Wu said.

Now Gilmore is in charge of the entire outdoor grow and said this new position has sparked his interested in more than just marijuana.

“Learning more about agriculture itself has perked my interest in going back to school,” Gilmore said.

In the future, Gilmore said he hopes to be responsible for more land and plants in the future.



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