Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced last week the appointment of Alejandra St. Guillen to Boston’s Cannabis Board, which was created this spring to strengthen the City’s focus on equity in the new marijuana industry.
St. Guillen lost by only a few votes last November in the City Council at-large vote to Councilor Julia Mejia. The election was decided only after a recount.
“I’m proud to appoint Alejandra to this Board as we work to strengthen Boston’s commitment to equity, diversity and local ownership in the cannabis industry,” said Mayor Walsh. “Alejandra’s career and life has been built on a commitment to serving others, and her voice will be a valuable addition to our work in Boston.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Boston Cannabis Board,” said St. Guillen. “I’m proud to live in a city that has acted on the need for increased equity in the cannabis industry. Particularly during this time of deep reflection into the systems that have negatively impacted Black communities and communities of color across the nation and in our city, it’s so important that all decisions are made through a lens of equity and inclusion. The Boston Cannabis Board is a tool to do just that and I am excited to be a part of it.”
St. Guillen began her career as a public school teacher in New York City and Boston and has served as the Director of ¿Oiste?, Latino Civic & Political Organization where she promoted economic justice and electoral reform public policy initiatives directly impacting communities of color statewide. St. Guillen most recently served as the Director of the City of Boston’s Office for Immigrant Advancement, where her work included initiatives like the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund. St. Guillen holds a B.A. in Economics and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University and a M.Ed from City College. She currently resides in West Roxbury with her wife, Josiane, and their 3 year old son, Jose Alejandro.
The additional members of the Board include: Kathleen Joyce, Darlene Lombos, Lisa Holmes, and John Smith. St. Guillen replaces Monica Valdes Lupi on the Board, who stepped down due to her public health commitments during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Walsh Administration has prioritized equity since the beginning of this new industry, and has approved 14 host community agreements in 10 different neighborhoods with marijuana businesses seeking to open in the City of Boston, which includes three state-certified economic empowerment candidates.