The Boston City Council is pushing ahead with their goals to make the growing marijuana industry more equitable for all residents of Boston.

The council held a working session over councilor Kim Janey’s proposed ordinance regarding the industry Tuesday morning. 

“We have to be intentional about our desire to equity,” said Janey at the working session.  

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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:

  • A person who has resided in an area of disproportionate impact for at least five of the past ten years.
  • 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.
  • A person who resided in the City of Boston for at least the past five years.
  • A person of Black, African American, Hispanic or Latino descent.
  • A person whose annual household income is below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
City Council held a working session over a new ordinance.

The ordinance would create a Boston Cannabis Board responsible for ensuring the cannabis industry remains equitable and safe for all. It will be made up of five members, three will be nominated by the mayor and two will be nominated by the city council.

The proposed ordinance would also create a fund to help residents break into the industry. 

“We have an opportunity to lead the nation on this,” said Janey. 

Jerome Smith, Chief of Civic Engagement, said the Mayor was open to allowing half of the available licenses for marijuana dispensaries to be allocated for equitable candidates. There are currently 52 licenses available. 

The Mayor also wants to make sure these candidates can open retail where there will be a lot of foot traffic like downtown, and not just in their communities. 

Smith said the Mayor is also in favor of creating a fund. 

Councilor Josh Zakim expressed the process to gaining a cannabis license needs to be clear and concise. He said he has heard a lot of complaints about the process so far. 

Zakim believes it is important for the process to be fair for everyone. He thinks of when people were first allowed to open liquor stores in the city. 

“That created generational wealth for some families,” he said. 


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12 COMMENTS

    • I do not think that is going to happen. I think there might be something in law that prohibits a pot shop in the North End. The one in the North Station area is or will be close enough.

  1. The nutties rule Boston. I think these people are well ahead of the curve and sampling the product already. Talk about working in a smoke filled back room.

    • T, in Boston it’s always about the money. It’s the only thing that matters and it’s always been that way. Ain’t going to change now.

      • Yes, I can already see the lines. These silly rules are designed to get a handle around these businesses so the licenses can be doled out as patronage. Looking at the business startup requirements they want someone with no business background and work history. And no startup capital. The businesses that are supplying the product are rapidly adopting corporate structures and some are publicly traded now. These businesses now are all about M&A and capitalization. Imagine the D&B report on one of the City’s hand picked business owner’s. Aside from the fact that federal banks may not be able to lend to these outfits in the first place, think how these credit reports will look to a credit officer. So who do you think will lend to these businesses? Pretty easy to guess that they will find a shylock who in a short time own the business. Enter organized crime. A nutty is a kind word for idiot.

    • Yeah, but if our Senator Elizabeth Warren can claim to be an American Indian, then that one will be easy to get around. They will have to add another requirement for DNA testing and ancestry percentages.

  2. “A person who has a past conviction for the possession, sale or trafficking of marijuana”

    Sorry, I’m not eligible because I’ve never been arrested for possessing or selling drugs…

    • I guess that they want to make sure that school children will be ensured handy access to marijuana products. Most of the pot sellers are incarcerated for selling to school children. Somewhere around the Eliot school will be a prime location.

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