Boston City Councilors To Discuss Plan To Diversify Marijuana Business Model

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Boston city councilors are looking for ways to diversity owners of marijuana businesses in the city.

The discussion will focus on whether Boston should allow leased kitchens for making marijuana, the idea being that renting buildings is less expensive than owning them, and, as a result, minorities would be able to start marijuana businesses. The proposal is modeled after similar policies that other states have already implemented, including Colorado.

Councilor Julia Mejia offered during a city council meeting Wednesday, January 11 an order for a public hearing on the matter. The item is a refile from one in 2022 that the city council never acted on.

”I’m looking forward to really having a conversation of what it looks like when we are really serious about social equity, licenses, and things of that nature,” Mejia said during the January 11 meeting. “We have seen so many folks come in and out of these spaces and places trying to build their businesses, and we need to start thinking outside the box in terms of how we diversify the cannabis industry here in the city of Boston.”

Mejia said that when she first filed the order “there was a lot of pushback in regards to what this could look like,” but that “if we are really serious about meeting this moment then we need to be serious about how we are going to change the way we do business.”

NewBostonPost requested comment from Meji by email on Thursday, January 12. Mejia acknowledged the request but did not provide comment by deadline.

Diversification of the marijuana industry and minority ownership of marijuana businesses has been a concern for state officials for some years.

Mejia’s order points out that the Boston city council has “played a role in ensuring that there is equity in cannabis applications in the City of Boston.” 

The Cannabis Control Commission, a state government agency that oversees licensing for marijuana producers and stores, has several “model diversity plans” for the marijuana industry that seek “to promote equity among minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.”

At the meeting on January 11, four councilors added their names to Mejia’s proposal, including the president of the council, Ed Flynn, and Kenzie Bok, Kendra Lara, and Ruthzee Louijeune.

The order will be referred to the city council’s Committee on Small Business and Professional Licensure. The committee reviews policies affecting businesses and licenses and works “to ensure a fair, equitable, and vibrant market for both businesses and consumers in the City of Boston.”


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[Editor’s note: photo courtesy of]]