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[Captains of cannabis]

Aaron McCrary, Master Grower, Zion Gardens

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Aaron McCrary
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Aaron McCrary is the first black owner, operator and cultivator in Nevada, but he doesn’t care so much about the title. “It’s not about being first or second,” the Zion Gardens master grower says. “It’s about breaking down barriers for people who are traditionally excluded from ownership in the industry and trying to do everything we can to increase the opportunities for people who’ve been adversely affected by the drug laws put in place during prohibition.”

For McCrary, that means opening doors, promoting small businesses and changing perceptions about both cannabis and minority ownership. “We are at the forefront of this emerging industry; as the pioneers we bear a great social responsibility,” McCrary says. “I would like us to be perceived as good social partners, as competent and productive members of society, as sound and capable businessmen.”

After 20 years in medical marijuana in Washington state and three years in Las Vegas, McCrary has proven himself and his industry. And the local community has embraced him in turn. “It’s a beautiful open community in Las Vegas, I’m very fortunate to be part of it,” he says. “There’s room for everyone. I hope the marketplace remains diverse, beautiful and vibrant.”

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