39-Year-Old Entrepreneur Makes History and Blazes New Trail in Cannabis Industry

39-Year-Old Entrepreneur Makes History and Blazes New Trail in Cannabis Industry

Tahir Johnson, a 39-year-old cannabis advocate, is set to open Simply Pure Trenton in Ewing Township, NJ, and become the first entrepreneur with a “cannabis-related conviction to own and operate a legal adult-use dispensary in New Jersey.”

According to NJBIZ, Johnson wants to offer the community a cannabis experience through education, inclusion, social justice. He plans to bring the “best of the best” technology systems to provide Ewing, located just outside of Trenton, with a high-end retail setting full of premium products.

“I don’t want to just be the best Black-owned dispensary or social equity dispensary,” Johnson said. “When people come and shop here, we want it to feel like that high-end customer service experience…And, from an education standpoint, letting customers know that we’re here to educate them and help them be able to meet whatever needs they have and also having the best product selection, quality products that are tested.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tahir Johnson (@tahdiddy)

Johnson has a passion for those impacted by the war on drugs. May 2022 was a turning point for Johnson and his longtime friend John Dockery after they obtained two of the first 11 conditional class 5 retailer licenses in the state. The friends were previously arrested for possessing marijuana.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said New Jersey regulators are working to address gender and racial diversity gaps in the cannabis industry.

“There are plenty of people that went to jail or prison for marijuana that have more experience than a lot of these corporate entities. We wanted to make sure they were able to get into the doorway themselves and be just as successful,” Gusciora said.

Johnson wants to be an example and provide opportunities for underrepresented populations, such as minorities, women, and those impacted by the war on drugs, who are working to thrive in the market.

Simply Pure recently hosted a job fair for cannabis companies and interested employees to network. An expungement clinic is also in the works during the grand opening, which is expected to take place in July. Simply Pure Trenton has a 45-member staff and the majority are minorities.

“We have a good number of women on our team, very diverse team, diverse in age, diverse in sex, diverse in background,” Johnson said.