A recreational marijuana shop may be coming to Mattapan, with a new proposal on Blue Hill Avenue set for a public meeting on Tuesday evening.
Jody Mendoza, who told the Reporter she has been a small business owner in the Boston area since 2005, and her husband are planning to open the shop, "Mojos."
Mendoza joked that the name does call to mind a reference from the Austin Powers movies. Its location at 1292 Blue Hill Ave. is a 2,945-square foot commercial lot two blocks from the Mattapan Public Library.
This is a "mom and pop" type of store, she said. "Just me and my husband. We're from Boston. We have no outside financiers. It’s us."
Mendoza said she and her husband, Grammy-winning music producer and entrepreneur Richy Peña, paid attention when marijuana was first legalized in the Commonwealth.
"It was a little bit interesting me," she said. "I kind of followed what was happening, and the more I looked into the social justice component of it, the more I realized it isn’t fair. if you look into who the players were in the medical [marijuana] field, and where the industry is headed, I believe there should be people from Boston who benefit. We're the ones who voted for it to become legal, but the big money's coming in from out of town. I think we're the best positioned to help the community and involve the community."
Mendoza's initial application was approved on April 18, among the earliest rounds. The ownership team is designated as a priority applicant, meeting several criteria: the majority of ownership has held one or more previous positions where the primary population served were disproportionately impacted, or where primary responsibilities included economic education, resource provision or empowerment to disproportionately impacted individuals or communities; at least 51 percent of the current employees or sub-contractors reside in areas of disproportionate impact and will increase to 75 percent by first day of business; majority minority ownership; and demonstrating significant past experience in or business practices that promote economic empowerment in areas of disproportionate impact.
Mendoza and Peña currently live in Eggleston Square in Roxbury, but have lived across the city, she said.
"We're 100 percent minority owned," Mendoza said. "We've been with the community, helping the community for many years now and hiring from the community. This isn’t new to us — well, this side of the business is."
A community outreach meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Mattapan Public Library, where Mendoza will introduce the business and the public can ask questions.