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Boston Empowerment Series | June 12-18 Week Long

June 12, 2023 - June 17, 2023

Rooted In & the City of Boston presents the Cannabis Empowerment Series!

Join us for a week-long educational journey through the ins and outs of owning and operating a successful cannabis business. This empowering series will provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in the rapidly-growing cannabis industry.

Over the course of several sessions, we will cover a wide range of topics, including licensing and regulations, marketing and branding, product development, financial management, and more. You will hear from industry experts, successful cannabis entrepreneurs, and city officials, who will share their insights and expertise.


For more info or to register for these free events check out the Eventbrite.


Tentative Schedule | June 12 – June 18

 *Schedule is subject to changes*


Monday, June 12 

Understanding Our History Through Cannabis  

Date: June 12th

Location: Big Night Live (Studio B) 110 Causeway Street Boston, MA 02114

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Kick-off Soiree + Networking


Day one will kick-off empowerment week with a grande soiree at Studio B on Causeway St in Boston. This day will focus on understanding our history, getting inspired and building connections in this community.  A selection of complimentary passed hors d’oeuvre will be available for guests.


Special Guests: Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion at the City of Boston

Ava Callender Concepcion, CCC Commissioner

Kim Napoli, Counsel at the Mensing Group

Alia Forrest Director of Business Strategy at the City of Boston

Shekia Scott, Cannabis Business Manager at the city of Boston

Joanne Keith, Founder of Rooted In

Rokeya Begum, Founder of Rooted In

Solmon Chowdhury, Founder of Rooted In

Brian Keith Founder of Rooted In

Angela Brown, Co-Founder + CEO of Coast Cannabis Co.

Dru Ledbetter FounderFounder and CEO of Zéb Boutique and Flower Xpress

Mario Signore, Founder of Greenline and Green Flash

Gabe Viera, Founder of Zyp Run

Jessica  VanDeWalle, Vice President of Wholesale at Happy Valley

Highlight Spotlight:

North Easton Savings Bank



Tuesday, June 13

Let’s Get Started: You Have an Idea, Now What?

Location: 2225 Washington St, Boston, MA 

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM 


One of the hardest steps to bring a business out of the concept phase is actually taking that first step. This class will cover which businesses are available to all applicants with a focus on social equity candidates, and how they can marshall the building blocks to get started.


Special Guests: 

Paul Evangalista, Executive Vice President at Needham Bank

Robert Boyda Vice President of Business Development

Joey Milbauer Director of Accounting at Diapoules & Feinstein, CPAs P.C.


Wednesday, June 14

Let’s Get Down To It: The Nitty-Gritty of Getting Your Business Through the City

Location: City Hall, 1 City Hall Square #500, Boston, MA 02201

Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Moving any proposal through the city can be intimidating and overwhelming.  On this day, participants will meet at City Hall, and be introduced to representatives from the different City of Boston departments who will process cannabis applications as they move through the city.  Participants will hear from members of the Boston Cannabis Board (BCB), Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS), Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Economic Opportunity and Inclusion (EOI) as well as meet members of the City Council and/or their representatives.


Special Guests: 

Jasmin Winn and Allyson Quinn from the Boston Cannabis Board (BCB)

Shekia Scott and Alia Forrest from Economic Opportunity and Inclusion (EOI)

Jessica Thomas from Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)

Enrique Pepen from Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS)

Regine Desir from the Clerk’s Office

Juan Lopez from City Council


Thursday, June 15

Real Talk on Real Estate

Location:Offices of Prince Lobel  1 International Pl Ste 3700, Boston, MA 02110 (ID requirement)

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Location Location Location is the most important aspect of starting any business, cannabis is no different. In this module, we will hear from premier zoning attorneys in the City of Boston, as well as Boston real estate experts who have successfully pivoted into the cannabis industry.  They will share their experiences on choosing a location, negotiating with landlords, and holding property while working through the permitting process.

Special Guests: 

Lesley Delaney Hawkins; Partner at Prince Lobel

Mike Ross, Partner at Prince Lobel

Sean Hope, Founder of Yamba Market

Solmon Chowdhury, Founder of Rooted In

Tito Jackson, Founder of Apex Noir

Friday, June 16

We’ve Got Traction & Approvals: What’s Next?

Location:  2225 Washington Street (Offices) 

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

The CCC and Me. The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is the regulatory and permitting body for the Cannabis industry in Massachusetts.  In this module, we will hear about the CCC application process and equity provisions meant to assist applicants.  We will also hear from compliance experts and an active Dispensary General Manager on generating compliant SOPs for your location.


Special Guests: 

Sara Grande, Compliance Manager at Vicente LLP

Jose Diaz, General Manager at Rooted In 


Saturday, June 17

Congratulations, You’ve Commenced Operations: How Can We Run a Successful Business?

Location: Roxbury Community College

Time: 3:00PM – 7:00PM

Bringing everything together from Monday through Friday, the Saturday agenda will consist of the hands-on work required to create a strong, professional business plan.  Participants will work closely with finance and legal experts to develop financial models that can be used to attract funds which are needed to build a business from the ground up.  

Technology: Bring a computer, please reach out at least 5 days in advance if you would like to use one for this session. 

Special Guests: 

Sean Coleman, Partner at Coleman and Gomes

Nicholas Gomes, Partner at Coleman and Gomes

Shekia Scott Cannabis Manager at the City of Boston


Sunday, June 18

Everything They Don’t Tell You & You Wish They Did

Location: : Long Live Brewery (Roxbury) | 152 Hampden Street Boston, MA 02119

Time: 11:00AM – 2:00PM


Through the lens of a COO, Director of Finance, Director of Marketing General Manager, and “EZ hire” ( a software company that offer a more complete way to connect beyond a paper resume in the Cannabis industry). We will discuss how to keep a cannabis business running successfully.  What to look for in hiring, operational best practices, bookkeeping and more will be discussed during this interactive day of events.


Special Guests: 

Brian Keith, Founder at Rooted In

Andrea Dolan-Rivers, Director of Finance and Corporate Strategy at Rooted In

Holly Alberti, VP of Marketing at Rooted In

Jose Diaz, General Manager at Rooted In; 

Jacob Carlson, Co-Founder & CEO at EZ Hire 


June 12, 2023
June 17, 2023