During the ninth episode of “Black News Hour,” The Boston Globe’s Tiana Woodard and Boston.com’s Khari Thompson talked to owners of marijuana businesses and a policy activist ahead of 4/20, an unofficial holiday celebrating cannabis culture. Then, the co-hosts heard from local religious leaders to get their opinion on the industry’s impact.
Vanessa Jean-Baptiste, owner of Legal Greens, the first Black woman to open a recreational cannabis store on the East Coast, visited the show, along with Brian Keith, co-founder of Rooted in Roxbury, a retail cannabis company, and Kobie Evans, co-owner of Boston’s first cannabis store, Pure Oasis. They shared their experiences and challenges with starting and having cannabis businesses in the Greater Boston area.
Drug policy activist and attorney Shaleen Title also offered her thoughts on how legal justice should be at the center of recent marijuana legislation from the Massachusetts Senate.
Later, Rev. Miniard Culpepper, senior pastor of the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and Imam Taalib J. Mahdee, resident imam of Masjid Al-Qur’an in Dorchester, talked about how they feel about the marijuana industry’s footprint in Boston and their visions of how communities can be empowered. Culpepper is currently running for state Senate.
See more about the topics discussed:
- In Grove Hall, a battle between entrepreneurs of color who want a piece of the lucrative cannabis business and faith leaders who want to keep drugs out
- The Black history I carry with me: Vanessa Jean-Baptiste
- From police stops to marijuana executives: The long journey for owners of Boston’s first pot shop
- Five years later, legal marijuana remains unfinished business in Massachusetts
Lauren Booker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.