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Alejandra St. Guillen appointed to Boston Cannabis Board

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Mayor's Office

St. Guillen will work to advance equity, diversity, and opportunity in the cannabis industry.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Alejandra St. Guillen to Boston's Cannabis Board, which was created this spring to strengthen the City's focus on equity in the new marijuana industry. 

"I'm proud to appoint Alejandra to this Board as we work to strengthen Boston's commitment to equity, diversity and local ownership in the cannabis industry," said Mayor Walsh. "Alejandra's career and life has been built on a commitment to serving others, and her voice will be a valuable addition to our work in Boston."

"I'm thrilled to be joining the Boston Cannabis Board," said St. Guillen. "I'm proud to live in a city that has acted on the need for increased equity in the cannabis industry. Particularly during this time of deep reflection into the systems that have negatively impacted Black communities and communities of color across the nation and in our city, it's so important that all decisions are made through a lens of equity and inclusion. The Boston Cannabis Board is a tool to do just that and I am excited to be a part of it."

St. Guillen began her career as a public school teacher in New York City and Boston and has served as the Director of ¿Oiste?, Latino Civic & Political Organization where she promoted economic justice and electoral reform public policy initiatives directly impacting communities of color statewide. St. Guillen most recently served as the Director of the City of Boston's Office for Immigrant Advancement, where her work included initiatives like the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund. St. Guillen holds a B.A. in Economics and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University and a M.Ed from City College. She currently resides in West Roxbury with her wife, Josiane, and their 3 year old son, Jose Alejandro.

The additional members of the Board include: Kathleen Joyce, Darlene Lombos, Lisa Holmes, and John Smith. St. Guillen replaces Monica Valdes Lupi on the Board, who stepped down due to her public health commitments during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. 

In November, Mayor Walsh in partnership with Councilor Kim Janey and the Boston City Council signed An Ordinance Establishing Equitable Regulation of the Cannabis Industry in the City of Boston, the result of collaboration from many stakeholders. The ordinance ensures Boston is a model for how to create a system that fosters racial equity and inclusion in the new marijuana industry, and brings the benefit of this industry to all of Boston's communities. As part of the ordinance, Mayor Walsh has established a Boston Cannabis Board, an independent board charged with reviewing all applicants for a marijuana license. 

The Walsh Administration has prioritized equity since the beginning of this new industry, and has approved 14 host community agreements in 10 different neighborhoods with marijuana businesses seeking to open in the City of Boston, which includes three state-certified economic empowerment candidates. Boston was the first city in the state to sign an agreement with an economic empowerment state-approved applicant, representing the city's national leadership in creating racial diversity in the cannabis industry. Pure Oasis is Massachusetts' first Economic Empowerment Candidate, and opened their business earlier this year. This week, Berkshire Roots became the second recreational cannabis shop to open in the City, in East Boston. 

To learn about the process involved in setting up a marijuana business in the City of Boston and the City's ordinance, visit boston.gov.