Mario Ramos was a graphic design student who worked in the marijuana industry when he lived in California, a state where recreational pot has been legal for adults since 2016.

He knew how a proper marijuana dispensary ran, so when he moved to New Jersey the next year and learned of a pot-growing operation running out of a building in Morris County, he jumped at the opportunity. After all, Phil Murphy was campaigning for governor at the time with a platform that included decriminalizing the drug.

But what Ramos, 54, called a “big entrepreneur opportunity” was still on the wrong side of the law in 2017. On Monday a judge sentenced him to seven years in prison for his role in the indoor farming operation in Randolph, where police said they found more than $1 million worth of marijuana plants during a 2017 raid.

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