Boston may be getting its first recreational marijuana shop early next year, according to Mayor Marty Walsh. The Boston mayor told WGBH News he anticipates a new dispensary opening up within a few months.
“In a few months, we will probably have the first marijuana shop,” Walsh said on Boston Public Radio's monthly Ask The Mayor segment.
Walsh said the shop will likely open near North Station near Boston’s North End. Recreational stores opened in Leicester and Northampton earlier this month.
The facility will be operated by Ascend Cannabis, Walsh said, and led by chief executive and former Mass. Secretary of Public Safety Andrea Cabral.
According to Walsh, the shop will begin construction as soon as a collective bargaining agreement is settled with the state, which he says will be sooner than later.
Walsh said the city has grappled with some pushback from communities.
“There are neighborhood organizations that don’t want it in their backyard, but the voters voted for it,” Walsh said. “The city is pitted now, at some point we’re going to be approving these things that neighborhoods might not want in their neighborhood, but the voters voted for it.”
Walsh said he has also been discussing the issue of diversity within the marijuana business with Tito Jackson, the former city councilor-turned chief executive of marijuana company Verdant Medical.
Walsh emphasized diversity on all levels of the marijuana retail business.
“What that means is people of color having a real stake in these companies, not [just] having these companies coming from all over the country to Boston to open these facilities and having a person of color as their lead person,” Walsh said. “We actually want people to have a stake in these companies, to be able to work on them.”