Jamaica Plain’s first adult-use cannabis dispensary will host a soft grand opening on Saturday, March 6.
Core Cannabis Dispensary, located in Hyde Square, has already gained national recognition for being the first dispensary in the US with a Social Justice Cannabis Museum attached to the project.
Back in June, Core made headlines when the operators commissioned a mural of George Floyd that was painted by artist Alexander Golob on the side of Core’s building. Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolic police officer sparked widespread protests against systemic racism and calls for police reform over the summer.
“The Social Justice Cannabis Museum is a very unique aspect of this cannabis shop,” said Core’s CEO April Arrasate. “We have a curating council of six people that are experts in social justice– an Ivy League professors, best Selling authors and they will help to curate various exhibits.”
Arrasate said once the shop is open the first exhibition at the museum will be about incarceration in America and how that has been impacted by cannabis prohibition and the drug war.
“Core is just trying to give people an understanding of what incarceration is like in this country,” said Arrasate. “I learned a lot and it’s really interesting. The museum will include a space that features a six by eight replica jail cell with the story of people whose lives have been derailed by the drug war. Guests will be able to sit in the jail cell and listen to those stories. One of the things I found pretty jarring was that more arrests were made in 2019 for cannabis than for all violent crimes put together. So that is the type of information we’re trying to convey to our guests so that we can promote a healthier conversation around drug policy in America.”
Arrasate said 81 Percent of Core’s investor dollars came from minorities.
“Eighty-two percent of Core is owned by locals and we are 72 percent women owned,” said Arrsate. “Owners of this company have spent collectively over 10 years incarcerated by the war on drugs.”
Even before opening its doors Core has partnered with a lot of local organizations.
“Despite not being a revenue generating business we’ve made a lot of contributions to local nonprofits,” said Arrasate. We supported the JP Music Fest. We were sponsors of the La Chica Project. Recently, we supported the Manning School’s “Burger Slam” event, which is the school’s number one fundraiser for its after school programs. We also supported the Puerto Rican and Caribbean festival.”
As for the dispensary itself, Core has over 6,000 square feet of space that will house all the adult-use cannabis products that are for sale to consumers.
“Our store is licensed for recreational use and the one thing that’s interesting about our store is we are not vertically integrated,” said Arrsate. “This means we do not grow or process our own products. So what’s good about that guests will be able to find a very wide variety of products and brands at Core. Typically if you go to a dispensary that has its own product you’re buying their products. We hope to have the largest variety of brands and products available in the state.”
Arraste said Core’s staff will be well trained and knowledgeable on what sort of products guests are looking for.
“We have a full staff of knowledgeable purveyors and they will be trained specifically on every product and how to guide people towards the right product for them,” said Arraste. “Whether it’s someone who’s been consuming cannabis their whole lives or someone who has never consumed cannabis we want both of those guests to feel comfortable here and leave with the appropriate products.”