Grow, Gift, Repair

Insight on licensing obstacles to come in Boston

The Boston Patriot Care facility was the first pot dispensary to open in the Hub, going online in 2016 after several years of red tape. During the application process, executives said they would sell only medicinal marijuana, despite the ongoing effort to legalize recreational pot.

“Right out of the gate they have a big credibility problem with businesses and residents and the zoning board because they sold themselves as medicinal only,” said At-Large City Councilor Michael Flaherty, who has pushed for a half-mile buffer zone around all pot shops. “They need to go back to the community; you can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.”

Rishi Shukla, a founding member of the Downtown Boston Residents Association, said Patriot Care has done a “reasonably good job” since opening but a promise is a promise.

“We view this as reneging on a commitment that was made and was a strong basis for them getting the license in the first place,” Shukla said. “Words matter.”

“Although the voters approved medical marijuana in our state, I also think it is important to have a thorough community process that respects the concerns of the impacted neighborhood and their quality of life,” downtown City Councilor Ed Flynn said.