Author: Benjamin Dreiker
June 01, 2020
Starting in June, the City of Boston will be holding its first meeting with the Boston Cannabis Board. The Boston Cannabis Board was formed by an ordinance that Mayor Marty Walsh and Councilor Kim Janey signed back in November. The Board is responsible for reviewing license applications of local marijuana establishments planning to operate in the City of Boston. In addition, the Board will require the City of Boston to approve equal numbers of equity program participants and other applicants. Ultimately, promoting fairness, transparency, and out-of-state investor-backed concerns from dominating the city’s recreational marijuana market.
The Boston Cannabis Board was established in an effort to ensure that individuals and neighborhoods that have been disproportionately impacted by the prohibition of marijuana receive the economic benefits of the cannabis industry. As such, the Cannabis Board will be implementing certain criteria that will bolster equity applicant eligibility to operate in the City of Boston. According to an article published by the Boston Globe, the Cannabis Board will be creating an equity program that will offer technical assistance and training for cannabis entrepreneurs who were arrested in the past for marijuana crimes, or belong to a group that has been disproportionately impacted by the prohibition of cannabis.
In order to apply for a license in Boston, the Cannabis Board will be applying an evaluation criterion in the review of applications. The Board will evaluate applications on the following: diversity and inclusion plan (25%), employment plan (20%), community feedback/ public support (20%), location/safety/security (20%), and parking/transportation plan (15%). To briefly elaborate on some of the criteria: the employment plan should include a plan to employ Boston residents along with minority groups. For community feedback/public support, cannabis businesses should obtain letters of support from local elected officials or community organizations. Applicants should also draft a plan for on-site security personnel, building and product safety, and a plan to protect youths from accessing products. Finally, in the parking and transportation plan, cannabis companies should demonstrate their access to public transportation, and accessibility of on-site parking, and a plan for the transportation and delivery of marijuana products and monies to and from the establishment.
The Boston Cannabis Board is a step in the right direction for Boston as it will promote equity among all applicants applying for licensure in the city. As mentioned in this article published by the Boston Globe, “Boston remains committed to supporting diverse, equitable, and locally -owned businesses in Boston throughout this public health crisis. However, an issue that should be foreseen is location. Boston is a small city, and as such, cannabis businesses should anticipate commercial real estate to be one of the hardest steps in opening up in Boston.”
JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF