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Boston, MA

Osman Rana

Boston Considering Proposal to Prefer Local Residents for Cannabis Licenses

Rule changes proposed by a Boston City Councilor include provisions to ease access by minorities and those previously charged with cannabis crimes.

Full story after the jump.

The city of Boston, Massachusetts is considering changing regulations for cannabis business licenses to favor awarding them to local residents, The Boston Globe reports.

The changes were proposed on Monday by City Councilor Kim Janey. Janey is seeking to take control of the permitting process from the Mayor’s office, which currently has full charge of the issue. Janey’s changes would create a two-year ban on participation in the market by out-of-area cannabis companies funded by outside money.

The proposal creates new rules for any company seeking to open a cannabis retail outlet in the Boston area. Any organization seeking to start a cannabis business would need to check three of six total boxes:

  • Have lived for half of the past ten years in an area of Massachusetts with high rates of arrest for drug crimes
  • Have lived in Boston for the last five years
  • Have been arrested in the past for cannabis-related crimes
  • Have spouses or parents arrested in the past for cannabis offenses
  • Be a person of African-American, Hispanic or Latino descent
  • Be a person whose household income is at 400 percent of the federal poverty level or lower

Janey hopes to be able to re-write the rules for issuing cannabis licenses so that the ills of the last half century of cannabis prohibition against minority communities are repaired and create a local cannabis industry instead of allowing large corporations, such as big tobacco, to come in with money and immediately dominate the space.

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