CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico cannabis business is trying to change the stigma of the industry by giving back to the community, even changing one man’s life. Eli Trevino and Ryan Echavarria own Cave City Cannabis in Carlsbad. “We’re not just a bunch of stoners, we’re functional business people that genuinely want to give back,” said Trevino.

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Both say the cannabis industry gets a bad rap, and they’re trying to change that by putting the community first. “According to everybody, it’s a great way to generate some good revenue so what better way to use that revenue than to help out the community, help out people in need,” said Echavarria.

They have worked on several projects since opening in August, from donating to the Make A Wish Foundation of New Mexico to trying to start a food pantry, to donating Christmas gifts to children in need. “Got in kahoots with an organization here in town they wish to be unnamed because the taboo we’re in we are trying to break. But we were able to get 24 kids that we are able to get Christmas to here in the state of New Mexico,” the owners said.

The men have also taken in a local resident who was down on his luck and living on the streets and gave him a job at the dispensary and even a home inside the shop. “They’ve actually done a lot for me. They’ve got my ID back so I can get full-time employment. You know, it was hard on the streets,” said Lee Duckett on receiving help from the business owners.

Lee says it’s because of these men that he has a new outlook on life. “I don’t want to give up because there is good out there. I don’t want to give up because of these guys,” Duckett said.

The shop currently sells medical cannabis and products but will offer recreational products in the spring of next year.