LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – One Lansing man is turning his painful past that sent him to prison into a motivational tool to help those affected by what he calls the war on cannabis.

Ryan Basore was like many in 2008 who wanted to make a career in cannabis when it was first legalized for medical use. But even after getting approval from local officials, his business was raided and he was sent to prison for four years and served two.

“It was like getting punched in the stomach first I was like you’re probably going to get a year oh. Then two years and you just go crawl up in bed for a half hour then you get back up and go back to life,” said Ryan Basore, CEO and founder of Redemption Cannabis.

“You know we had lawyers look it over that said it was legal so we got local approval, police approval, some Ingham County prosecutor approval,” said Basore.

But still, in 2010 the federal government began raiding his business. And after the constant legal battles, Ryan says he had to do the unthinkable and plead guilty.

“We got indicted – seven of us – and six of us decided after draining our bank accounts. I drained mine. That we had to go in and plead guilty otherwise we all be looking at 10-15 type years,” he said.

So when he got out he did everything in his power to help people in prison for some cannabis-related crimes.

He worked with nonprofits and then started Redemption Cannabis. A business that he says uses 10% of all proceeds to help those behind bars as soon as they get out.

“We do have a list in Mmichigan there’s about a thousand people still in jail or prison for marijuana charges,” Ryan said.

In 2020 Michigan passed a law allowing for some marijuana charges to get expunged. But it’s not an instantly clean record as people still have to pay to get the charges taken off.

“We started the Great Lakes Expungement Network about 14 months ago and since then we are the only full-service expungement network in the state. It’s free we have almost expunged 600 records,” he said.