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New standards established for ownership of marijuana businesses in Boston

September 13, 2019

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Walsh signed an executive order that prohibits City of Boston employees or their family members from participating in a marijuana business.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today signed an executive order that prohibits City of Boston employees or their immediate family members from participating in a marijuana business that is currently seeking, or intends to seek, an approval from the City of Boston or its agencies. This executive order builds on Mayor Walsh's commitment to ensuring this new, developing industry is grounded in equity, with a focus on bringing new opportunities to the residents and business owners that have been most impacted by the war on drugs. 

"I am committed to ensuring this new industry is fair, transparent, and equitable for all who wish to participate in it," said Mayor Walsh. "My Administration works closely with businesses and applicants to make sure they get the support they need, and neighborhoods have a voice in the process. This executive order will create a new standard for city employees and remove potential conflicts of interest that may arise as the City continues its work to develop and implement the growing cannabis industry."

Under the executive order, no City of Boston employee or immediate family member may participate in a marijuana business that is currently seeking, or intends to seek, an approval from the City of Boston or its agencies. 

No member of the Zoning Board of Appeal, the Boston Licensing Board, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Zoning Commission, the Boston Planning and Development Agency, or their immediate family members, may participate in a marijuana business that is currently seeking, or intends to seek, an approval from the City of Boston, or its agencies.

The Office of Economic Development and any other City employees who participate in any grant of approval from the City of Boston, shall consider the participation of any City employee, or their immediate family members, in a marijuana business to be a negative factor that supports denial of approval of that business.

The City of Boston also now mandates cannabis applicants complete a Beneficial Interest Form so that an applicant's business, personal and capital interests are disclosed. With this completed form, the application is signed under the pains and penalties of perjury so if a candidate or company provides false or misleading information, it could lead to a license revocation.