Mass. marijuana industry is mostly corporate and white. Inside one Boston battle to change that


Second in a series

As dozens of black residents packed the Mildred Avenue Community Center one night in January, it looked like an ordinary — if conspicuously well-attended — neighborhood forum. 

Except there was nothing ordinary about it.

In attendance were three businessmen, each vying for the right to open a store in the heart of Mattapan Square, a place that doesn’t usually draw that kind of commercial competition. 

All three were black, in a city where business ownership so emphatically tilts white on the racial fault line. 

And then there was the product they hoped to sell, one for which the neighborhood has already paid a heavy price in both arrests and altered lives — marijuana.

The business of selling legalized pot to the public is finally getting underway in Boston, and, viewed at street level, the market is unfolding very little as the state had intended. 

Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to make social justice goals a cornerstone of marijuana legalization. But two years in, those equity provisions are giving way to old inequities, small players are being squeezed by the bigger national ones, and the question of which minority entrepreneur most deserves the neighborhood’s trust is proving to be hard to discern, a Spotlight Team review shows. [Read More @ The Boston Globe]


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