Boston City Council members heard hours of testimony on the ins and outs of legalized recreational marijuana in Boston Tuesday.
But among the concerns raised by city council members is the lack of diversity among applicants.
City Councilor and Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley said a similar lack of diversity tainted the rollout of medicinal marijuana.
"There were 182 applicants, eight provisional licenses awarded, [and only] one to a person of color," Pressley said. "There are immediate lessons we can learn about what was prohibitive and unintended consequences from medicinal marijuana where we did not see equity."
Pressley said the city needs to reach out more aggressively to encourage minority applicants.
Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title said the businesses that are making their way toward getting licensed do not represent the diversity the commission, or councilors, want to see.
I only have one statistic to share today, and it is a nauseating statistic," Title said. "As of our last meeting we had issued 76 provisional licenses to businesses, and not one of those businesses has identified as a minority-owned business."
Title said that the CCC can't pick and choose among qualified applicants, but that municipalities can designate preferred applicants.