Legal Recreational Marijuana Shops Six Months In | Connecting Point | June 11, 2019

Legal Recreational Marijuana Shops Six Months In | Connecting Point | June 11, 2019


>>>MAY MARKS AN ANNIVERSARY OF
SORTS IN MASSACHUSETTS. SIX MONTHS SINCE THE FIRST
RECREATION AL POT SHOP OPENED, THERE ARE NOW 17 MORE STORES. BUSINESS IS GOOD, WITH POT
RETAILERS REPORTING $120 MILLION IN BUSINESS SINCE NOVEMBER. AS “CONNECTING POINT”‘S AROON
ROTH REPORTS, THERE ARE MANY MORE WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEURS
SEEKING TO GET IN ON THE GREEN.>>TO GET A SENSE OF HOW
MAINSTREAM POT HAS BECOME IN MASSACHUSETTS, COME WITH ME TO
THE HISTORIC BROOKLINE BANK. BUILT DURING THE PROHIBITION
ERA, IT’S NOW HOME TO GREATER BOSTON’S FIRST RECREATIONAL POT
SHOP. WHILE THE VAULT STORES A
DIFFERENT KIND OF GREEN, IT STILL LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE A
BANK, RIGHT DOWN TO THE CUSTOMERS.>>WE SEE PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS
OF LIFE, WE SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE AGE SPECTRUM, OF COURSE
START, AT 21, BUT ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR 90’S.>>NEW ENGLAND TREATMENT ACCESS,
OR NETA, OPENED THEIR BROOKLINE STORE IN MARCH. IT SERVES AROUND 2,000 CUSTOMERS
A DAY. JIM WILLIAMSON IS A REGULAR,
EVEN THOUGH HE SAYS HE CAN BUY POT ON THE BLACK MARKET FOR
LESS.>>THIS IS CONSISTENT AND IT’S
SAFE AND I KNOW WHERE IT’S COMING FROM.>>IT’S HIGH END RETAIL, NO PUN
INTENDED. THE CANNABIS, EDIBLES AND VAPE
PENS, PACKAGED AS ELEGANTLY AS LUXURY COSMETICS.>>I SPENT ALL MY MONEY.>>BUT NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY
WITH THE UPSCALE NATURE OF LEGALIZED POT. ED DESOUSA ORGANIZED THIS
PROTEST OUTSIDE THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE.>>SMALL MOM AND POPS DESERVE TO
HAVE A SHOT.>>THE NEW RULES FOR
RECREATIONAL POT WERE SUPPOSED TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
LIKE HIM GET INTO THE GAME. HE SAYS THAT HASN’T HAPPENED.>>UNLESS YOU HAVE HALF A
MILLION DOLLARS, A MILLION DOLLARS, $5 MILLION, IT’S NEXT
TO IMPOSSIBLE TO GET YOUR BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND.>>THE LAW WAS ALSO SUPPOSED TO
PROVIDE AN EASIER WAY FOR MINORITY OWNED POT BUSINESSES. RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NONE. BUT KOBE EVANS IS IN LINE TO BE
THE FIRST. HE GREW UP IN BOSTON’S
DORCHESTER NEIGHBORHOOD, WHERE A RESPECTABLE POT SHOT IS A
WELCOME CONTRAST TO WHAT SELLING DRUGS USED TO MEAN.>>THE ECONOMY IN BOSTON WAS
TERRIBLE, NO ONE COULD FIND JOBS, AND SO THEY RESORTED TO
SELLING DRUGS.>>ITS APPROVAL AT THE LOCAL
LEVEL THAT’S KEPT OTHER MINORITY BUSINESS OWNERS OUT OF THE LEGAL
WEED BUSINESS. LOCAL COMMUNITIES HAVE A FINAL
SAY IF THE DISPENSARY CAN OPEN BY GRANTING A HOST AGREEMENT,
BUT ARE REQUIRED TO FAVOR MINORITIES OR SMALL BUSINESSES.>>IT’S THIS WEIRD PARADOX WHERE
CITIES AND TOWNS ARE ULTIMATELY TRYING TO GET THE MOST OUT OF
BIG COMPANIES, IN RETURN FOR THE HOST AGREEMENT AND WHAT THAT
DOES IS LOCKS OUT PEOPLE LIKE ME.>>EVEN WITH A HOST AGREEMENT IN
HAND, NO BANK WILL GRANT A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN FOR A POT SHOT. EVANS MANAGED TO PULL THE MONEY
TOGETHER HIMSELF WITH HELP FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY. HE HOPES TO GET FINAL APPROVAL
SOON.

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