TRENTON, N.J. — Ed Forchion sells marijuana in New Jersey's state capital — directly across from City Hall.
He doesn't have a license. What he's doing is blatantly illegal. He doesn't care who knows.
New Jersey voters are voting in next week's general election on whether to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. A statewide legal market could be up and running by late 2021.
But Forchion is certain there won't be a place for him under a state-administered cannabis industry.
"Not only am I a convicted felon," he said, "I don't have $2 million to pony up for a permit."
Forchion, also known as marijuana activist NJWeedman, has 16 varieties of cannabis on offer — including the high-grade Platinum Kush and Wedding Cake strains. He also sells marijuana-infused edibles and magic mushrooms.
Between masked customers, Forchion openly dared law enforcement to prosecute him. The sign on his Trenton storefront is emblazoned with an oversized image of ... Forchion. It shows him obstinately smoking a giant spliff.
"Because when they arrest me, then that's when I get what I want," chuckled Forchion, standing behind a glass counter holding scores of edibles and oversized jars of marijuana flower. "They could stage a raid with AK-47s. But I won't resist."
Forchion, 56, wants his day in court so he "can put the cannabis industry's systemic racism on trial."
"They'll give me a hearing, and by law, they'll have to let me go after a couple of days," Forchion said. "Prison doesn't scare me. They can't find 12 people who'd be willing to convict me."