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.