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Public policy / government

A pivot point for pot in Massachusetts

Legal marijuana creates opportunity for industry insiders like 4Front’s Kris Krane, but uncertainties remain.

BOSTON, MA - 11/23/2016: Marijuana investor and consultant Kris Krane in Boston. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo) SECTION: BUSINESS TOPIC 04fivethings
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/file
Kris Krane.

When Massachusetts voters legalized recreational pot last November, it was both a high point and starting point for Kris Krane.

Krane, president of marijuana industry consultancy 4Front Ventures, had supported the legalization campaign, giving it free space in 4Front’s offices in downtown Boston. Krane, 38, even volunteered for the campaign on his own time. It was a familiar role for the longtime pot activist, who transitioned to industry consultant in 2009, co-founding 4Front in 2011. Krane came to Massachusetts to open the company’s second office three years ago, when the state’s medical marijuana system got off the ground. Phoenix- and Boston-based 4Front’s clients include medical marijuana dispensaries in seven states.

Legalization represents a big opportunity to work with, and potentially even operate, pot shops for the general public. But Krane’s not sure whether 4Front will get in on that game, in Massachusetts or anywhere else. He wants to, but questions about how the Trump administration will approach the industry are giving him pause.

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“Because a number of us are longtime members of the reform movement, I think we have a real appreciation for how powerful the federal government is and can be,” Krane says. “I’m very proud of the fact that we were able to end prohibition in Massachusetts from a social policy perspective. We’re not hiding from that. But that’s a little separate from the business calculation.”

Adam Vaccaro is a Globe staff writer. Send comments to magazine@globe.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.