The Boston Cannabis Board yesterday voted to approve a proposal for a pot shop on Hyde Park Avenue by three local entrepreneurs and to reject a plan for a dispensary a block away by a company based in Arizona.
The vote means that Sean Berte and Jullian Domenici of Roslindale and Armani White of Roxbury can now seek a license to open their proposed Evergreen Farms at 883 Hyde Park Ave. from the state cannabis commission. The board voted unanimously in favor.
The board voted 4-1 to reject without prejudice a proposal by Suns Mass Inc. to open its own dispensary and marijuana-products production facility at 931 Hyde Park Ave., in the former Serino's building. Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce wanted to defer a vote on the proposal rather than deny it.
The Evergreen Farms applicants filed for approval under city regulations that favor minority applicants and applicants who have been hurt by past legal actions against people charged under marijuana laws that began to be repealed starting in 2008, when voters approved the first of three ballot questions to begin to make marijuana use legal in Massachusetts. White is Black, and both he and Berte had been convicted of marijuana crimes in the past - following his conviction for possession of marijuana plants, Berte lost his job as a Boston firefighter.
In contrast, Suns Mass., a subsidiary of the Harvest Group of Tempe, AZ, was a "non-equity" applicant. At a board hearing last week, it said it had hired Larry Mayes of Hyde Park, currently an executive at Catholic Charities and previously a member of Mayor Tom Menino's cabinet, to serve as its local director of diversity and equity.
In its approval, the board told Evergreen to "continue working with the neighbors regarding quality of life issues." At last week's hearing, Phyllis Carlson, who lives next door to the proposed site, and who does social-work meetings in her house, said she was concerned about potential parking and traffic issues.