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Boston Cannabis Board goes with homegrown over out-of-state for Hyde Park pot shop

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and applicants who have been hurt by past legal actions against people charged under marijuana laws that began to be repealed starting in 2008, when voters approved the first of three ballot questions to begin to make marijuana use legal in Massachusetts.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.


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I was at the Hyde Park neighborhood community meeting where Evergreen presented their plans to the community and neighbors last year.

Also in the audience were people from the out of state competition including someone who was primed to concern troll the crowd by standing up and asking in a fake concerned voice something along the lines of ".. I really hate to bring this up but I'm veeeeery concerned about the criminal history of the people standing before us ...".

It was obvious to me and others that this was a planted question, not a single real resident or abutter even came close to asking a similar question or expressing a concern about this as Sean and the EVG presenters literally discussed this in the first few minutes of their introductions.

The real questions coming from the neighborhood were 100% about parking and crowd control as that was the overwhelming concern. Other than that there were a couple of people who asked what would stop the neighborhood kids from buying (answer: ID checks and very strong security) and the other question was "what is to stop someone from buying in the store and then dealing on the corner?" (Answer: high taxes on rec sales mean this business model does not work .. dealers are not gonna deal taxed product from dispensaries ...)

But the most insulting thing and the reason I"m going to post about this forever with burning contempt for Suns Mass and Harvest Group was right at the end of the meeting when I was helping to clean up and hold the exit doors open for the departing crowd ...

The 'guy' fronting for Suns Mass / Harvest had his SUV idling out front and was talking loudly on his phone as he left the building. I personally overheard him shitting all over the local team presentation as he told his (I'm guessing investors own in AZ) that "these guys are a joke and we are gonna crush them"

Sorry rant mode over. I'm just super excited to see the out of state carpetbaggers who slagged the community's local efforts get their asses handed to them. The rejection means they have to start over.

Local ownership and social equity for the win

Voting closed 60

I mean, I'm a prohibitionist, but at the end of the day, the concerns the community brought to the meeting were reasonable. Coming in from out of state and launching personal attacks on your competition- that's not right.

Voting closed 4

They will get bought out sooner or later and you will be stuck with the carpetbaggers.

Voting closed 4

I'll stick with french fries from Kowloon.

Voting closed 2

It's not 2007 anymore.

If you don't like marijuana, nobody's forcing you to use it.

Voting closed 3


Voting closed 7

As though coffee doesn't smell revoltingly strong to non-imbibers. Who cares?

Voting closed 3

Still better than the cigarette smoke everywhere that's largely disappeared, at least to my nose.

Voting closed 4