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Second in a series

As dozens of black residents packed the Mildred Avenue Neighborhood Center a single evening in January, it looked like an ordinary — if conspicuously effectively-attended — neighborhood forum. 

Except there was absolutely nothing ordinary about it.

In attendance had been 3 businessmen, every vying for the appropriate to open a retailer in the heart of Mattapan Square, a spot that does not typically draw that sort of industrial competitors. 

All 3 had been black, in a city exactly where enterprise ownership so emphatically tilts white on the racial fault line. 

And then there was the item they hoped to sell, a single for which the neighborhood has currently paid a heavy price tag in each arrests and altered lives — marijuana.

The enterprise of promoting legalized pot to the public is ultimately finding underway in Boston, and, viewed at street level, the marketplace is unfolding really small as the state had intended. 

Massachusetts was the very first state in the nation to make social justice targets a cornerstone of marijuana legalization. But two years in, these equity provisions are providing way to old inequities, little players are becoming squeezed by the larger national ones, and the query of which minority entrepreneur most deserves the neighborhood’s trust is proving to be tough to discern, a Spotlight Group overview shows. [Read More @ The Boston Globe]