A new Boston City Council ordinance aims to make the marijuana industry more equitable for smaller, local companies with diverse ownership, Mayor Marty Walsh told Boston Public Radio on Friday.

"This is going to ensure people who have been impacted the hardest from the war on drugs can benefit from new economic opportunities. That's in the ordinance. The ordinance is going to continue to make progress on equity and diversity in the new industry," Walsh said.

The ordinance,first introduced in February by Councilor Kim Janey, was finalized by the City Council this week. Among other changes, the ordinance requires the creation of a Boston Cannabis Board to evaluate license applications with criteria that focus on diversity and community support. The regulation also requires Boston to ensure that at least half of its marijuana licenses go to companies from communities affected by the war on drugs and creates Massachusetts’ first local fund supporting minority-owned marijuana companies.

This represents a marked change from the current process, by which Boston officials decide behind closed doors who receives a host community agreement, which is necessary to move through the state licensing process.

"The city council[ors] now have to get involved in the issue in the districts where the marijuana shops are," Walsh added, "because a lot of them have not gotten involved."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.