The first time engineer Anthony Winston III, PE, consulted on an indoor agricultural farm in California, he was told it was a “tomato” operation.
“I took a look at the building on Google Maps, because it just didn’t sound right – and when I noted the equipment on the roof I knew something was off,” he explained. “When I got there and realized they were a fully licensed and legal cannabis operation under the newly regulated market in California, I told them they could have told me the truth and I wouldn’t have minded.”
The experience gave him a new perspective on just what it was like working within the cannabis industry. Even though the plant is legal in the state, Federal laws stand, with licensed farmers and manufacturers in the space afraid to let an engineer know what they were doing upfront – fearful he’d say no.
Aside from the secrecy of it all, Winston realized the very building housing this major operation, requiring a serious electrical installation and all that implies, was in disrepair in a sketchy neighborhood, at best. This legal, licensed company couldn’t find a better location or building due to the very nature of the business and the stigma involved.
“The first time I was handed a stack of cash as payment for work I realized just what a travesty it is,” he added. “Imagine trying to do business like that – with large sums of money. It’s just not right.”
Courtesy Anthony Winston IIIDiscrimination: Black, Brown & Green
Discrimination is nothing new to Winston, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a part of the city that’s historically gotten a bad rap for crime, with the Black population targeted.
During former South Side resident and first Black …
Author: Sharon Letts / High Times