On Saturday March 13 Jamaica Plain’s first adult-use cannabis dispensary and the nation’s first Social Justice Cannabis Museum opened in Hyde Square in Jamaica Plain.
Core Cannabis’s Seed Dispensary and attached Social Justice Cannabis Museum opened at 401 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain with a ribbon cutting that included the dispensary and museum’s founders, staff and the now Acting-Mayor of Boston Kim Janey.
The unique dispensary has already gained national recognition for being the first dispensary in the US with a social justice museum attached to the project.
One of the first exhibits will feature Boston native Niambe McIntosh, daughter of legendary Jamaican Reggae Musician, former Wailer and cannabis activist, Peter Tosh.
McIntosh is a member of the dispensary’s Social Justice Cannabis Museum’s Curating Council and will tell the story of how her brother Jawara Tosh lost his life to the drug war.
On February 21, 2017 Jawara, also a musician and marijuana activist like his father, was beaten into a coma by a fellow inmate while he was serving a one-year sentence for marijuana possession in New Jersey.
Jawara, 37 at the time, was later transported to a Boston hospital and died in 2020 after spending three years in a coma.
“He would call me from the jail and say hey Niambe, can you read this scripture?” his sister told Rolling Stone after her brother’s death. She said his nightly routine with his children included reading the Bible together, and he kept it up while incarcerated, with his sister’s help.
The museum includes a space that features a six by eight replica jail cell where McIntosh will narrate her brother’s story. Guests are able to sit in the jail cell and listen to McIntosh’s story, as well as the story of thers, of the injustices of the war on drugs.
“The Social Justice Cannabis Museum is a very unique aspect of this cannabis shop,” said Core’s CEO April Arrasate. “Core is trying to give people an understanding of what incarceration is like in this country.
Eighty-two percent of Core is owned by locals, 72 percent women owned and the owners of the company have spent collectively over 10 years incarcerated by the war on drugs.
Aside from the museum, Core has over 6,000 square feet of space that houses all the adult-use cannabis products that are for sale to consumers.