Legal clinic in Somerville offers free aid to help people clear their records of marijuana crimesPosted by On

Ryan Dominguez, executive director of MASS CultivatED, a workforce development and jobs training program for the cannabis industry, said the free legal aid is the organization’s most popular program.

Since the group was established in 2020, Dominguez said, 125 people have initiated efforts to have their criminal records expunged or sealed with legal assistance offered by MASS CultivatED. Criminal records make it difficult for people to find jobs or housing, or participate in some volunteer opportunities.

“What we are doing is providing the services directly to impacted individuals from the war on drugs,” Dominguez said in an interview. “We focus on three main components of our core program. That is expungement, education, and employment opportunities.”

Connexion United Methodist Church in Somerville hosted the event, where participants met with attorneys from Greater Boston Legal Services as well as representatives from community programs in Greater Boston. Also sponsoring the event was Ayr Wellness, a cannabis business with dispensaries in seven states, including Massachusetts, where it has locations in Somerville, Back Bay, Watertown, and Needham.

The Rev. Jordan Harris, pastor of Connexion United Methodist Church, said the congregation hosted its first expungement clinic last year.

“For us it’s all about grace,” Harris said. “It’s a way for us to kind of put our space and our money where our theological principles are. It’s reconciliation. Helping…

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