EnRoot Home Delivery Highlighted in the Boston Globe
By Tiana Woodard, Globe Staff
But the applicants say they want to give the neighborhood access to the wealth the growing cannabis sector offers. South End-based entrepreneur James Finney joined with the cofounders of Rooted in Roxbury, a minority-owned retail cannabis company, to pitch the delivery business, called EnRoot, to the city this past spring. Roxbury couples Brian and Joanne Keith and Solmon and Rokeya Chowdhury founded Rooted in Roxbury in 2019.
They point out the state’s cannabis law has so far fallen short in its aim to help communities harmed by the “war on drugs.” Just 16 of the state’s 194 corporations that have opened up pot facilities are owned by equity and economic empowerment applicants, a category for candidates from communities that suffered disproportionately during the war on drugs.
“Communities like Dorchester and Roxbury are where people were locked up for having cannabis on them, using cannabis, or distributing cannabis,” said Brian Keith, a sales executive who unsuccessfully ran for District 7 city councilor in 2017. ”We also didn’t want them locked out of this emerging industry.”
Rokeya Chowdhury said that business owners with roots in the neighborhoods have a nuanced understanding of the community’s needs that larger cannabis corporations may not. “People just expect to meet these corporate white guys, but they’re really surprised that we are young families, raising young children,” Chowdhury added. The Chowdhurys also own the Indian-Bangladeshi Shanti Restaurant chain, with eateries in Dorchester, Roslindale, and Cambridge, and the Dudley Cafe in Roxbury. “You don’t want Massachusetts’ cannabis industry to be flooded by corporations. It should be people like us as well.”
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