Mattapan marijuana shop wins zoning approval

The Zoning Board of Appeal on Tuesday, Nov. 26 approved a recreational dispensary at 1292 Blue Hill Ave., between Fessenden and Evelyn streets.

The 5-1 vote means the proposal by Jody Mendoza Pekala and Carlos Castillo will be the latest to be tossed on a pile of zoning-approved pot shops awaiting action by the state Cannabis Control Commission. Two years after voters approved recreational marijuana sales, Boston still has no recreational pot shops. One of the applications that has city approval but remains unopened: A proposed shop on Blue Hill Avenue in Grove Hall.

Boston also has just two medical-marijuana dispensaries seven years after voters approved those.

Pekala and Castillo said their Mojos site would avoid the lines that have plagued the NETA shop in Brookline Village through an informal agreement with a neighboring store owner to use a vacant lot for people to line up in. And if that proved insufficient, they said, they would have workers stationed outside to simply turn people away.

But the two said that by the time they actually win final approval from the state, they expect this won't be an issue, since by then there should be more pot shops in the area, reducing the demand on any one of them.

The mayor's office supported the proposal.

But Barbara Crichlow of the West Selden Street and Vicinity Neighborhood Association opposed approval, saying residents and some business owners objected to the lack of parking and to the fact that a BPS bus stop is now right in front of where the shop would go. A liaison from the mayor's office said the city is looking at moving the bus stop.