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Board approves Mattapan recreational marijuana dispensary, in a city that still has no recreational pot shops open

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a recreational dispensary at 1292 Blue Hill Ave., between Fessenden and Evelyn streets.

The 5-1 vote means the proposal by Jody Mendoza Pekala and Carlos Castillo will be the latest to be tossed on a pile of zoning-approved pot shops awaiting action by the state Cannabis Control Commission. Two years after voters approved recreational marijuana sales, New England's largest city still has no recreational pot shops. One of the applications on the pile: A proposed shop on Blue Hill Avenue in Grove Hall.

Boston also has just two medical-marijuana dispensaries seven years after voters approved those.

Pekala and Castillo said their Mojos site would avoid the lines that have plagued the NETA shop in Brookline Village through an informal agreement with a neighboring store owner to use a vacant lot for people to line up in. And if that proved insufficient, they said, they would have workers stationed outside to simply turn people away.

But the two said that by the time they actually win final approval from the state, they expect this won't be an issue, since by then there should be more pot shops in the area, reducing the demand on any one of them.

The mayor's office supported the proposal.

But Barbara Crichlow of the West Selden Street and Vicinity Neighborhood Association opposed approval, saying residents and some business owners objected to the lack of parking and to the fact that a BPS bus stop is now right in front of where the shop would go. A liaison from the mayor's office said the city is looking at moving the bus stop.

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Comments

a BPS bus stop is now right in front of where the shop would go.

I'd love to see a count of the number of BPS bus stops that are in front of liquor stores or bars. I'm so worried about Kevin.

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Voting closed 69

I keep hearing the concept of long lines and traffic being an issue... but it is a self created issue by the foot dragging we have seen across Greater Boston on this issue. The simple solution for those opening now is to have by appointment only and shuttle service to start off. Once the line starts to fall back continue by appointment only on weekends until those lines fall back and then move forward. Every time I drive past Brookline it is a disaster, in the sense that there are tons of people. That is only because it is the one real "city" location and is MBTA accessible. The only way to cut back on those lines is to launch more stores.

That being said I do not fully understand why a large city like Boston can't just bundle these shops up as they cross the threshold and organize group opens. If they could open four locations at once across the city then those opening day crowds will not be huge. From what I understand the Lynn kick off was not a huge showing but that could be due to the fact that Salem and Lowell both have shops.

I get people are angry and honestly I voted against the process simply because it looked so messy on paper BUT people voted and it passed. The rules are fairly simple and it has been a few years. These shops just need to start opening, it is getting a bit silly.

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Voting closed 46

Totally agree. Appointment only is the way to go to prevent large crowds.

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Voting closed 13

Honestly I wish more in demand stores would use the appointment system. Bank on a Friday night? Grocery shopping on a Saturday? DMV anytime?

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Voting closed 18

Doesn't do appointments exactly, but they do have an "order ahead" system that works pretty well. The longer line is usually for people who ordered ahead, and it moves quickly. I've never stood outside for more than 15 minutes. Judging by the foot traffic, a lot of customers seem to use the greenline.

Apparently, a lot of the Brookline busy bodies want to restrict access so that the store is appointment only, which will quickly limit how many customers can be served.

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Voting closed 17

And if you're a NETA patient, there's NEVER a line or order ahead. I do it all the time. And take public transit to and from.

That's the key here: if there were more shops, there wouldn't be lines out the door of the ONLY SHOP IN BOSTON.

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Voting closed 9

is this not a high crime area? a quick search found two shootings very close by in the last year.

more sense to open in a less densely populated area? roslindale? hyde park?

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Voting closed 17

At least two in each.

At the present rate of approval, we should see them open in roughly, oh, the 22nd century.

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Voting closed 30

So there were two shootings nearby. Let's ban any new reputable, job-producing businesses in that area. That should help.

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Voting closed 42

He's worried that the shooters will get all hopped up on the wacky tobacky.

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Voting closed 22

we'll see how it goes when kevin comes down from scituate for a half ounce of purple bubba kush and he goes home with a broken nose and an empty ziplock.

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Voting closed 10

Open a dispensary in Scituate for Kevin and his bros. Maybe the residents of Mattapan and environs might want a dispensary for their own use.

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Voting closed 37

open them everywhere. why start in mattapan?

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Voting closed 11

But the first recreational marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts will not be in Mattapan. In fact, outside of Boston they are several opened already. Kevin can go to one of those. Or he could choose not to partake. Either way Kevin won't be on Blue Hill Ave.

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Voting closed 23

i didn't think there were any open on south shore. i now see brockton and wareham have stores. i guess kevin can stay in scituate.

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Voting closed 2

I welcome the idea of a Dackie opening in that area. I voted for legalization and this foot dragging is ridiculous. If and when it opens it will be a short walk away from me.

And about the West Selden Street and Vicinity Neighborhood Association. Those folks are literally from The other side of the tracks except they're on the good side. The Fairmount line divides the neighborhood. Single and Double family homes on the good side and plenty of rental properties (mostly triple-deckers) on my and the proposed dispensary's side.

Mattapan will always be stuck with the stigma of having become "Murderpan" in the media but things are getting better all the time. This is a step in the right direction.

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Voting closed 15

Have you seen NETA? A bunch of white people making money off of everyone who had gotten penalized for trying to do the same thing (profit) over the past 75 years here. They make millions of dollars there a month.

Point is anyone starting a business wants to be the only business in town so they can make the most money.

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Voting closed 6

should make you feel bad.

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Voting closed 10

I mean, read the news buddy.

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