City Councilor Kim Janey recently introduced a draft of a new ordinance ensuring equity for minority business owners when it comes to the marijuana industry.

The ordinance calls for the development of an equity program in which marijuana business equity applicants must meet three out of the following five guidelines:

  1. A person who has resided in an area of disproportionate impact for at least five of the past 10 years.
  2. A person who has a past conviction for the possession, sale or trafficking of marijuana, who has been a resident of Boston for the past 12 months; OR a person who is married to or is a child of a person with a past conviction for the possession or sale of marijuana, who has been a resident of Boston for the past 12 months.
  3. A person who resided in the City of Boston for at least the past five years.
  4. A person of Black, African American, Hispanic or Latino descent.
  5. A person whose annual household income is below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Janey believes it is important to have equity when it comes to this booming industry.

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“The war on drugs has unfairly targeted people of color for decades,” she said.

According to NAACP, whites and blacks use drugs at similar rates, but black people are incarcerated six times as often as white people.

“We need to correct the harms and right the wrongs that have been caused because of mass incarceration,” she said.

“We have seen what happens with liquor licenses if there is no intention of promoting equity,” she added.

Janey is proposing the city would only consider and approve licenses from the equity applicants for two years. Afterward, they would approve equity licenses on a two to one ratio with other applicants.

Other councilors applauded Janey for the ordinance. 

“I am so proud of you. You are taking the bull by the horns,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards. “You are making history. I am 100 percent right there with you. You are setting a table where all are welcome and figuring out how to do this right.”

Edwards went on to say if they don’t pass this ordinance, then they have learned nothing from the liquor license “debacle” they are still dealing with to this day.

“This can’t come a moment too soon,” Councilor Michelle Wu added. 

Wu said this ordinance will help make sure that not only those with millions of dollars can thrive in this new industry.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. As a Marijuana User who also has A Medical Marijuana License, I think it is the biggest mistake ever to legalize Marijuana
    because I feel it is going to create a lot of problems. I think one of the biggest problems is going to be driving under the influence of Marijuana & as of now, no way of detecting it. I think our Police are going to take the brunt of this.
    Medical Marijuana is a great thing, it does wonders for people with Anxiety, Sleep, Pain, etc. I hope to God I am
    wrong, but from the people I spoke to from Colorado, they have a lot of problems. Is the Risk with the Reward?
    If the City & State say yes, we all know why, Money the Root of all Evil, along with Greed. My opinion, I don’t
    care who agrees or disagrees.

  2. I agree Joan, I’m all for medical marijuana but as I wrote here months ago legal recreational pot shops equal more impaired drivers on the road ,just what we needed! As we both know it’s all about the 💰 as usual First it was the lottery, than recreational pot shops, next it is going to be legalised sports betting.

  3. There are procedures in place to detect if people are driving impaired due to alcohol use. Their is nothing to test people driving under the influence of marijuana.

  4. Open the stores. Stop the stupid delays.

    My favorite recent update is articles saying that the black market is taking back over in MA. It’s not taking back over- there is no legal market because of delays like this one.

    Enough! We voted for this.

  5. Anonymous, I resent that remark, do as I say, not do as I do. I have a License, and even if I didn’t, I would have
    made it my business to get weed, but the point I am trying to make here is there will be plenty of people that
    won’t care if they are high & driving. I do. I can’t drive if I have too much in my system & I admit.
    A Marijuana License doesn’t make it ok to go behind the wheel of a car, and drive High. I feel bad for the Police that will have to deal with the reckless drivers. Short & Simple.

    • JOA, in March of 2016 a MA State Trooper was killed by a person operating a MV under the influence of pot. He was driving 81 mph and crossed 3 travel before slamming into the trooper in Charlton MA.He somehow managed to get a Medical Marijuana Licence under false pretences and was driving back from a dispensary.

  6. MichaelD, This is only the beginning, wait. I have to admit when I first applied for a Medical Marijuana License in
    South Boston & brought all my Medical Records the Doctor didn’t even look at them. My last visit was in Peabody & this Dr. asked me for my Medical Records & of course, I didn’t have them since I was only renewing my license.
    This Doctor was extremely thorough, unlike any other Marijuana Dr. She explained to me in detail that they still
    do NOT have all the details about what Marijuana can do to an individual. I have had 2 bad experiences, my fault,
    but not behind the wheel of a car. I felt like I was on an LSD trip. It didn’t happen all at once, it happened after
    an hour or so. What did it? Too much Marijuana at one time. I had to reach out to someone to come & get me,
    I was in a Restaurant. I have also been in the company of people who took edibles & wanted to be rushed to a
    hospital, their heart was pounding & they thought they were going to die. The best thing you can do is to take
    a Cold Shower when one gets like this, according to the people I met from Colorado. It can be very hard to
    determine how much the body can handle, therefore, someone should start off extremely slow. I can understand why frequent pot users wanted it to be legalized, but watch what happens. I just hope they don’t
    ruin it for people like myself that suffer with extreme anxiety & nervousness. If the government can make money on this, like they do with Liquor, they will leave it just the way it is. We have an opiod crisis in the U.S. &
    they are now depriving adults in their 80s of painkillers. Why? There were far too many people using it to get
    high & not for pain & it does a number on your liver. Money the Root of all Evil will win again.

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