Ann Arbor drug felon facing obstacles to new life as medical marijuana entrepreneur

Exceprt from

Fourteen years after being busted for growing seven marijuana plants in his backyard — in the tiny city of Manistique in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — T.J. Rice remains haunted by his past.

He’s legally considered a convicted drug felon, a label he says has contributed to his struggles with unemployment and homelessness.

“I had to lie on every job application I ever had afterwards,” said Rice, a former insurance salesman who was living out of the Delonis Center as recently as two years ago.

Rice, now 54, appears to be finding his niche.

He’s an entrepreneur in a literally budding industry for Michigan as the owner and operator of a medical marijuana dispensary. It’s discreetly tucked away on the fourth floor of an office building at Fourth and Washington in downtown Ann Arbor.

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