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Former state rep's marijuana mart approved on fast-changing Mission Hill street

Sanchez

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a proposal by former state Rep. Jeff Sanchez for a cannabis shop at 123 Terrace St. on Mission Hill.

Sanchez, who as a state rep long worked to block the sale of medical marijuana before voters approved it in 2016, still needs approval of the state Cannabis Control Commission before he can open his roughly 3,000-square-foot Raices on the Hill shop with ten parking spaces.

"Raices" means "Roots," in Spanish; earlier in the day, the board rejected a proposal for a shop named Rooted In in Nubian Square.

The Raices on the Hill shop will share a building with the Diablo Glass School, which will remain. Sanchez will replace the wall between the two spaces with a large glass window so that people waiting to pick up their cannabis products will be able to watch Diablo artisans at work.

Two nearby residents opposed the proposal. One cited traffic and parking on the small street. The other said Mission Hill and Roxbury have spent decades fighting the stigma of being "drug spots" and the last thing they need is a new "drug house."

"if it's so necessary, put it over in South Bay," he said.

The mayor's office and City Councilor Kenzie Bok supported the proposal. An aide to Bok said the main investors are majority LatinX and "deeply embedded" in Mission Hill. Sanchez served as the neighborhood's state representative until his loss to Nika Elugardo in 2018.

Noting several residential projects under way or proposed for the formerly sleepy industrially zoned street, board Chairwoman Christine Araujo said her concern with the proposal is that Terrace Street "transitions to a better place rather than a worse space."

Sanchez said his mother lives down the street and that he's been dedicated to improving Mission Hill for his entire life.

The board approved the proposal unanimously.

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Comments

… Mission Hill, he will make this an edibles only shop. Otherwise it’s just another smoke shop.

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Voting closed 15

what are three things he actually did to improve Mission Hill? Did he build the Stop and Shop plaza or something?

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"Racist on the Hill." Dunno about that name.

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I thought it meant "races", as in ancestry.

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Are bilingual and can read the difference.

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pronouncing it correctly.

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Why are so many ex-politicians getting approval?
Seems weird to me.

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So, what's the count now of former politicians involved in the marijuana trade?

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Sanchez, obviously. Tito Jackson and Andrea Cabral, also.

Mike Ross is involved, but as one of the go-to marijuana-permitting lawyers, not as an investor (and, in fact, he represented Sanchez at today's hearing). His successor, Josh Zakim, has also represented a couple of applicants (Zakim's successor, Kenzie Bok, however, will break that chain because she's not a lawyer).

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Voting closed 17

Michael Ross is an investor in this shop along with Alexandra Olivier-Davila (you remember her as the former School Committee Member that hates white West Roxbury folks)

Mike Ross owns 11.03% of this shop and the rest of the investor ownership is split amongst a dozen white attorneys that work at Mike Ross' law firm.

So much for diversity.

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building? Did it close? Move? Is it still there?

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The Raices on the Hill shop will share a building with the Diablo Glass School, which will remain. Sanchez will replace the wall between the two spaces with a large glass window so that people waiting to pick up their cannabis products will be able to watch Diablo artisans at work.

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Thanks.

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I find it funny that this got through so easily as the cornerstone of all NIMBY arguments, parking supply, actually might apply here.

Terrace street is kind of a weird street, and every time I've needed to park on it to pick up things from the Building Materials Resource Center, it's been more challenging than elsewhere in JP/Rox. It may be that they expect clients to just come from the bus/T at Jackson Square, I don't know.

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, as the shop nearest me, SEED in Hyde Sq, doesn't seem to have negatively impacted parking in a notable way. Just seems odd, is all.

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Voting closed 10