Universal Hub - Confusion, anger in East Boston and City Hall as mayor's office approves two pot shops closer to each other than allowed by law
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
A decision by the mayor's office to approve two marijuana shops less than a half mile apart - in potential violation of a city ordinance - sparked an unusually volatile Zoning Board of Appeal meeting today, during which the board chairman slammed his gavel to the table to restore order at one point, not long after he yelled at a city councilor that she was out of order.
Placed in a precarious legal position by the mayor's office, the board voted to approve a Pittsfield corporation's proposal for a recreational and medicinal marijuana shop at 251 Meridan St. in Central Square, then was poised to vote to reject a proposal by a group of East Boston businessmen for a recreational pot shop just 0.4 miles away at 71 Maverick Sq., because of the distance issue.
But the board agreed to defer action on that proposal to give that team time to come up with a formal legal answer to the half-mile issue - enshrined in an ordinance approved by the city council, then approved by Mayor Walsh.
East Boston Bloom, LLC, will try to convince the board it deserves approval for its Maverick Square shop on April 9.
The board's approval of Berkshire Roots's plan for Meridian St. does not mean that company can begin dealing pot - it just lets it apply to the state Cannabis Control Commission for a license.