Reaction mixed to pot shop proposed in Roxbury’s Nubian Square – Boston Herald


Many people in Roxbury on Tuesday said they would welcome a proposed recreational marijuana dispensary in Nubian Square, even as the head of a neighborhood group said a “drug den” would not help to revitalize the community.

Rooted in Roxbury, a Black-owned business, wants to open its store in the predominantly Black neighborhood, where several store fronts stand empty.

“Before cannabis was legalized in Massachusetts, it was here, and it was unsafe because you didn’t know what it was laced with when you were buying it on the street,” Brian Keith, one of the company’s four owners, said. “We’re offering a safe alternative.”

“We’re also trying to build generational wealth by creating a business that’s 100% people of color owned and 100% people of color invested,” Keith added. “If it’s not us, it’s going to be someone else, possibly someone from another state, who’s not going to invest in the community.”

But Sadiki Kambon, chairman of the Nubian Square Coalition, said the group is strongly opposed to a “drug den” opening in the square.

“We have many families and students in the immediate area, along with visitors and shoppers, and do not want the visual of individuals standing in line to purchase … marijuana in order to get high,” Kambon said.

After a virtual community meeting Tuesday night on the subject, the proposed dispensary will need approval from the Boston Cannabis Board before it can apply for a license from the state Cannabis Control Commission.

Leroy Anderson, who lives in the South End on the edge of Roxbury, said he supports the proposed business

“I’m for Black entrepreneurship,” said Anderson, 57. “Allow a person to be a small business owner in the community. That way the dollars stay in the community.”

But Alvert Owens, 78, of Roxbury, hopes the dispensary

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