Currently, no marijuana dispensaries operate on Newbury Street, but two new ones may be coming soon. The Boston Cannabis Board granted a license to Ember Gardens in February, and minority-owned business Rooted in Roxbury has proposed an establishment on Newbury Street as well. Both businesses are equity applicants.
Massachusetts is among 16 states — along with D.C. — that have legalized recreational marijuana. Forty-four states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana to some extent. Furthermore, less than 10% of surveyed Americans actively oppose legalizing marijuana, according to a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center.
Yet anti-dispensary sentiment seems to be rampant as stores are proposed in neighborhoods around Boston.
Back Bay residents and Newbury Street business owners have cited concerns regarding the nearby alley and potential alarm system. There is also a general desire to “keep these people out of [their] neighborhood” — these sentiments insinuate that marijuana users pose some sort of threat.
In reality, there is no scientific causation between marijuana use and violence or psychosis, and therefore criminal activity. Furthermore, in Massachusetts, you are only allowed to carry up to one ounce in public and you are not allowed to use marijuana in any form outside of