'Brave New Workers': A Burning Desire To Get A Medicinal Marijuana License

What happens to workers when an industry fails, new technology takes off? NPR brings you stories of Americans adapting to a changing economy. This week: Leaving the black cannabis market to go legal.
Malcolm Mirage and sister Nina Parks operate the cannabis business Mirage Medicinal in San Francisco. Source: Marissa Ortega-Welch

California native Malcolm Mirage's dream was to own a legal cannabis dispensary. For years, he had grown marijuana and sold it on the black market, while working a day job as a personal trainer. But in his late 20s, Mirage decided it was time to jump into the growing legal industry — before it got too crowded — and build his expertise into a sustainable, above-board business.

In order to open up that business, which he calls Mirage Medicinal, he needed to come up with $500,000 in startup capital, so Mirage began to scale up his operation, expanding into lucrative

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