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Former city councilor wins city approval for State Street marijuana store

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved plans by former City Councilor Tito Jackson to open a three-story cannabis shop at 150 State St., across from the Custom House.

Jackson's Verdant Restorative now goes to the state Cannabis Control Commission for the required approval to open both the shop and a "manufacturing" concern in the building, where the company will take raw marijuana and turn it into edibles, vape pens and similar products in the building's basement. The Boston Cannabis Board had earlier approved the proposal.

The building has six floors - the top three floors will be used for company offices, meetings and breaks.

Jackson told the board the corporate name represents a function of its business: To be "restorative" for people who were harmed by "the failed war on drugs." He said at least 20% of the roughly 40 employees will be people who were convicted of drug crimes, and added that pay will start at $16 an hour.

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He said at least 20% of the roughly 40 employees will be people who were convicted of drug crimes, and added that pay will start at $16 an hour.

What about those drug dealers who got their cases dismissed? Or those who just never got caught?

Those guys gotta work too right?

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Voting closed 24

Pete, no.

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Voting closed 31

But seriously. Imagine walking in for an application, sitting down and reading a question about whether or not you have been convicted of a drug crime? How do you answer that? Is that legal? Do you have to prove it somehow?

In all seriousness, I'm guessing they mean someone who had been arrested of a drug crime? Making a conviction for something as a qualification for a job can't be legal. (and yes I understand the concept of how people punished for something that is now legal had hard times getting jobs because of those records. I do get that)

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Voting closed 12

Because I can tell you, most job applications will in fact already ask you if you've been convicted of a crime, and they do in fact have ways of finding out if that's true and what crimes. Where's your complaints about how that's been going on for the last few decades?

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Voting closed 29

Usually when they ask that question you answer no. With this criteria you aren't sure how to answer. Only about half of drug crimes are felonies, so the ones that aren't (possessing marijuana in 1995) aren't going to show up on a level 3 or 4 CORI check. Selling cocaine to a minor may or may not show up if it is after a 10 year period on a Level 4 CORI check I believe.

But again, if you are looking for a job at this place and your felony conviction for selling cocaine to a child isn't going to show up on a CORI because it happened 11 years ago, do you tell the employer that in hopes that it increases your chances of getting a job because the business hasn't hit their 20% yet? Or do you keep quite and hope that a selling a Class B substance to a minor might hurt your chances of getting a job.

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Voting closed 13

I think the assumption is you answer the question truthfully.

If you always answer no and other employers are not capable of finding out somehow then you haven't really been all that impacted long term have you? The entire point is to help those who have otherwise had a hard time obtaining employment for being involved in this thing that is now legal. It is not a reward for selling drugs illegally but an acknowledgement and an attempt to level things off.

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Voting closed 12

you answer honestly and tell the truth.

But somehow I'm not surprised that you would assume everyone else is also willing to lie about their past and cover up anything that might make them look bad.

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Voting closed 18

Is this a serious comment? Or you dont like weed? Its called a CORI check or background check. Its the most basic thing...

also, why cant it be legal for that to be a qualification if it can be a disqualification. There are many programs and jobs open specifically and in favor to the formerly convicted. This is hardly new.

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Voting closed 17

If you have 40 employees and it is a requirement that 8 of them have to have a criminal record. Lets say 5 of the 8 quit, and you need to replace them, do you legally have to skip over people without criminal records to get to those with criminal records?

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Voting closed 11

I don't see where this would be a legal requirement for the business. Maybe I'm missing something.

But in any case, even if it was, how is this more of an issue than skipping over hiring people with criminal records, which again, has been done for a long time and has negatively impacted people with nonviolent offenses or minor drug charges in their past?

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Voting closed 10

"At least 20%" is not the same as "exactly 20%". "Aspiration" is not the same thing as "requirement".

The idea of this sort of thing is generally to periodically review your metrics and then consider whether you are advertising for jobs in the right venues. That sort of thing.

Not as fun, I know, but let's stick to the thing that was actually described.

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Voting closed 18

I’ll end it.

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Voting closed 8

He said at least 20% of the roughly 40 employees will be people who were convicted of drug crimes, and added that pay will start at $16 an hour.

What about those drug dealers who got their cases dismissed? Or those who just never got caught?

Those guys gotta work too right?

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Voting closed 11

Did you bitch this much when Mike Ross and Josh Zakim started making money off the weed business?

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Voting closed 29

I normally am not a fan of so many political people getting these shops. It makes it looks rather corrupt. I do make an exception for Tito though because that guy has been on the forefront of this stuff for a while. He was ringing the alarm about how much these licenses cost and the price of maintaining a lease while waiting for a approval and the need for resources for people who do not have access to the capital he has found. He has been using his experiences to try to make it better for others with lesser resources and I can respect that a lot more than some of the other politicians that stand to make a fortune off of this stuff.

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Voting closed 11

I am joking. Don't care about Tito, Ross or Zakim. Good for them I guess if they are doing it the right way. Or maybe none of them should be involved, I don't really care.

I was commenting on the concept of having 20% of your workplace having to have been convicted of a drug crime.

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Voting closed 17

All of these pols (local, state, and federal) who are now getting into slinging weed are shady as hell and have used their positions as public servants to round out their portfolios.

I think it's disgusting and a breach of public trust.

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Voting closed 15

.... but inhaled smoke and chemical vapors are not restorative for anyone.

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Voting closed 16

For me, edibles are useless and inhaling is the only way for it to help my epilepsy side-effects.

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Voting closed 22

The way your body metabolises the THC and CBD can be very different between edibles and vaping/smoking it.

And same.. smoking does it for me. Edibles are 'fun' but not the same as smoking.

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Voting closed 13

Landlords can't prevent consumption of edibles (and why would they ever want to?), but they can and do often prohibit smoking, because it's an annoyance or worse to the other tenants. If someone really needs the medical benefits of smoking, there are places where they simply can't live.

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Voting closed 14

... of smoking. Its just urban myth.

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Voting closed 11

Eat it, drink it, inject it, I don't care. But any method that produces noxious fumes should be outlawed again.

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Voting closed 17

.... firsthand and secondhand smoke are major killers.

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Voting closed 14

Always found Tito to be a nice personable guy. May not have always lined up politically but that’s life. Much rather see him and other small local business people get these than the larger out of state corporations.

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Voting closed 11

It would be funny if someone failed a background check for being too clean.

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Voting closed 18

People close to him are tight but Tito likes his Tito’s..... the stories he tells.

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Voting closed 6

Paying $2.50 above minimum wage to an individual who has had contact with criminal justice system to sell an intoxicant is "restorative" ?

The hubris and blatant cynicism is astounding.

A pot shop is no different from a liquor store, dress it up with all the bills and whistles you want, both have negative impact on the surrounding community. State St will be part of Downtown Crossing open air drug market.

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Voting closed 1

The half-mile buffer zone for cannabis businesses is right out; this is about 1,400 feet (a little over a quarter-mile) from Patriot Care on Milk St.

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Voting closed 8