Former city councillor Tito Jackson hopes to open up a medical and recreational cannabis dispensary in Mattapan Square. Jackson is CEO of the Florida-based, investor-backed marijuana company Verdant Medical Inc. Testifying at a council cannabis industry equity meeting on Tuesday, Jackson explained his business model and the challenges for business owners of color in seeking to enter the burgeoning market.
The company’s growing facility and a co-located store will be in Rowley, Jackson said, and they are “very close” to signing a host community agreement for a site in Provincetown. In Mattapan, the site in question is currently a check cashing location and laundromat at 1589 Blue Hill Ave., Jackson said.
“The Mattapan area is a beautiful part of the city,” Jackson said. “We will be providing over 30 jobs; we actually start at $15 an hour. I believe in the Fight for 15, and I am committed to that belief in the work that we do.”
Jackson said he planned to, through this business, extend the philanthropic work he already does with his charity.
“It is critical that we provide good jobs in our community and really look forward to hiring local folks in management,” he said. “We’re having management that is local, and hopefully folks can walk to work.”
His group is moving forward with the city process, having received an automatic denial for the cannabis use form the zoning Board of Appeals. Jackson and his team are now preparing for forthcoming public meetings, which have not yet been scheduled.
“We defer to the city around the actual scheduling, but we are at the moment engaging members of the Mattapan community,” he said.