George Martorano spent 32 years of a life sentence in prison for weed — now he’s opened a CBD café in Philadelphia.
“It is said that I once was the longest-serving non-violent person in the world for cannabis,” he stated.
Martorano was arrested in Philadelphia in 1982 after being caught by the FBI with a truck full of cannabis — what he says was 2,700 pounds. At the advice of his attorney, he pleaded guilty to a litany of drug charges, thinking he would only get 10 years in prison. But the judge gave him life without parole.
“As a first offender, there’s no way — no way I should have gotten more than 10,” he explained. “But they gave me life, no parole, and over those years, you know, I was sent to all the worst prisons known to man.”
During Martorano’s 32 years in prison, much had changed in the U.S. surrounding cannabis and its legality. Finally, after 32 appeals in as many years, he was released at the age of 65 under the DOJ’s compassionate release program. Now he’s just opened the Hip Hemp Café, a coffee shop and CBD boutique in downtown Philadelphia.
The Hip Hemp Café sells all kinds of CBD products, from lotions and tinctures to high-CBD hemp flower and pre-rolled joints. They also offer CBD-infused coffee and treats.