Walsh appoints five-member Cannabis BoardPosted by On


Body includes one from Dorchester

Mayor Martin Walsh today announced five appointments to Boston’s newly-commissioned Cannabis Board, which will review all of the city’s applicants for marijuana licenses. One of the appointed board representatives hails from Dorchester.

“The purpose of Boston’s Cannabis Board is to make sure our actions continue to match our values: supporting equity, diversity and local ownership in this new industry,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud to appoint these exceptional members to the Cannabis Board as we work to ensure every resident has access to the same opportunities in our growing city.”

The five-member board will include Dorchester resident John Smith, who is also the director of programs at TSNE MissionWorks. Smith has experience in nonprofit, government, education and advocacy fields, and has also worked as a policy analyst in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

Before his government experience, Smith worked at the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, the Hyams Foundation’s Youth Policy Initiative, the Tennessee Department of Health, and at several universities managing service learning and other student-centered programs. Smith holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Tufts University and is originally from Trinidad.

Mayor Walsh’s appointments also included: Kathleen Joyce, chair of the city’s licensing board; Monica Valdes Lupi, former city health commissioner and a senior fellow at the de Beaumont Foundation; Darlene Lombos, first woman and person of color elected to lead the Greater Boston Labor Council; and Lisa Holmes, who served as a Boston Police Department (BPD) Superintendent, and has over 30 years of experience in public safety.

“The purpose of Boston’s Cannabis Board is to make sure our actions continue to match our values: supporting equity, diversity and local ownership in this new industry,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud to appoint these exceptional members to the Cannabis Board as we work to ensure every resident has access to the same opportunities in our growing city.”

In November, Mayor Walsh in partnership with Councillor Kim Janey and the Boston City Council signed An Ordinance Establishing Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry in the City of Boston, that outlines measures to prioritize equity and inclusion in the burgeoning marijuana industry. The ordinance also established the Cannabis Board.

“I am excited by the appointment of the Boston Cannabis Board today. This board is so important to our City as it will bring a new, transparent and public facing process, focused on equity, for creating Host Community Agreements in Boston,” said Council President Janey.

The Walsh Administration has approved 14 host community agreements in 10 different neighborhoods with marijuana businesses seeking to open in the city, including 3 state-certified empowerment candidates. Grove Hall’s Pure Oasis is the state’s first Economic Empowerment Candidate and is in the final stages of opening their cannabis retail dispensary.



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