By Kris Krane, Forbes on August 3, 2023
Sean Berte and Armani White are the poster children for cannabis social equity businesses. Boston natives both, the duo set out to use the well intentioned social equity regulations to obtain a license and open a store in their hometown.
White, 50% owner of their planned Firehouse dispensary in Boston’s Hyde Park Neighborhood, is a local African American community organizer in Roxbury, one of Boston’s only remaining majority Black neighborhoods in a rapidly gentrifying city. When he was an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, local police showed up at his dorm room to inquire about laptop thefts in the building. Armani, one of the only African American students in his class, knew nothing about the laptops, but was arrested anyway because the police found a gram of marijuana and a grinder on his desk. The experience inspired him to work for criminal justice reform and also qualified him as a priority social equity applicant under Massachusetts’ licensing program.
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