13 years ago I started my quest to legalize cannabis in Michigan. We made it, but what it took to get here should never be forgotten. Here’s my story…
Ryan Basore used his business experience gained from working in the insurance industry to open one of Michigan’s and Lansing’s first medical marijuana dispensaries in 2010. Through his provisioning center, Capital City Caregivers, Ryan saw first-hand how cannabis could improve lives by getting people off dangerously addictive painkillers and preventing debilitating seizures.
Basore had believed his caregiver grow operation was in “full and substantial compliance with state law,” which was the line drawn by the Obama Administration to avoid federal scrutiny. Despite his efforts to comply with state and local law, the DEA, State Police, and National Guard raided his state-legal cannabis operations. He was ultimately charged with 13 federal counts related to the manufacture and distribution of marijuana.
After serving his 4-year sentence in FCI Morgantown, West Virginia, Basore decided to dedicate his life to cannabis reform. In 2018, he organized support behind then-candidate Dana Nessel to defeat Pat Miles Jr. to be the Democratic Party nominee for Michigan Attorney General. Miles Jr was the person responsible for indicting Basore and his family.
Following the passage of 2018’s Proposal 1 to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, Basore helped launch the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association and grew it to more than 200 members before leaving to pursue his own cannabis business ventures in part thanks to a $50,000 social equity grant from GAGE Cannabis Co.
Basore, a proud life-long Michigan resident, is now the CEO of the Redemption Cannabis line of premium flower and concentrate products, which is headquartered in Lansing’s Old Town district.
Redemption stands out in Michigan’s cannabis market by being the only company to dedicate 10 percent of all proceeds to The Redemption Foundation, the non-profit Basore created to help others who have been harmed by the injustices of cannabis prohibition.
Basore is also the president of the Great Lakes Expungement Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people take advantage of Michigan’s “Clean Slate” law by applying to have their past cannabis offenses stricken from their records. GLEN has helped hundreds of Michiganders gain access to better jobs, housing and opportunity for their families by connecting them with free legal support and expungement assistance.
In January of 2019, I helped launch the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association and was named their Director of Business Development. The Association has already grown to over 200 members. I established revenue-generating programs for the Association with a trade journal and the insurance, ethanol sales, packaging, and business consulting industries. I recently earned my real estate sales license, too.
So how did we get to Redemption? 13 years of love, pain, defeat, and victory.
I am proud to have helped legalize cannabis the right way, where cannabis “felons” are actively encouraged to participate in the industry. Now a new battle has emerged, and it’s a fight to save the soul of cannabis.
I’ve had the government take away my cannabis business. I’ve had greedy, white-collar businessmen (who brag about not consuming cannabis) steal one as well. I’ve sat in association meetings where new people entering the industry refer to cannabis consumers as criminals, losers, and degenerates. They believe that all cannabis is the same and that quality doesn’t matter. Companies are attacking caregivers, home-grows, and micro licenses in the media. They are even working with municipalities to raid private caregiver collectives, hoping to stomp out potential competition.
My relationships, principles, and experience are now coming together at the right time for Michigan and for me. The dots are all connecting. Redemption will help lift people affected by the war on cannabis, honor the men and women who got us here and help preserve the culture of cannabis products grown with love and dedication.
When things were at their most bleak, I never lost faith in the path I chose. I have always believed in making decisions based on what is ethical and honorable. I’ve been working tirelessly and have stayed patient waiting for this opportunity. The dots are now connecting………it’s time for Redemption.