Verdant Medical Inc., which is based in Boston but backed by Florida investors, announced Jackson’s hire yesterday. Jackson, a longtime supporter of legalizing marijuana, said the new role will give him a chance to make a difference in the city.
“I know many will critique this new role as counter-intuitive to my aspirations in running for Mayor of Boston, but I have decided to redefine the definition of success and redirect my energy to focus on tangible change and real outcomes,” Jackson said in a statement. “Now is a golden opportunity to open the doors of equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry by creating ownership and employment opportunities for communities that have traditionally been left out and left behind.”
As a councilor, Jackson backed Question 4, which legalized recreational marijuana — butting heads with Walsh and police Commissioner William B. Evans, who fervently opposed the measure.
Walsh has continued to urge caution as the state prepares for recreational sales, opposing pot cafes and delivery services and approving zoning laws that prevent pot shops from opening within half a mile of each other.
Jackson, on the other hand, said a legal marijuana market could benefit minority business owners and bring dealers “out of the shadows” — and said he would put those ideas into practice at Verdant.
“I will be a practitioner in criminal justice reform by hiring, training, and employing individuals who were formally part of the system, but now will be important parts of my team,” Jackson said in the statement. “I am joining Verdant to ensure that people of color have the necessary capital and the operational and technical support that is needed to be successful in this industry.”