Grow, Gift, Repair

Black-owned cannabis businesses move forward

Future storefront Rooted in Roxbury faced some community opposition but its owners secured a preliminary license to operate a cannabis business in Nubian Square. Owned by Brian and Joanne Keith, in partnership with Solomon Chowdhury and his wife Rokeya Begum, the store and its location drew some contention. After hearing concerns that it was too close to a school, the group moved and settled on a site at 2177 Washington St.

“It really wasn’t opposition against us, per se. I would say it was more opposition against cannabis in general,” Keith told the Banner. With funding from Chowdhury, a real estate developer who also owns Shanti restaurants and Dudley Cafe, and 40 community investors, they have secured overwhelming support to overcome the opposition.

Keith says they could have gotten support from a larger, out-of-state company, as some companies are looking for local entrepreneurs to partner with, but his team wanted to retain a community-centered focus.