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In Photos: Western Front Grand Opening

Western Front Sign on Winthrop Street
Sami E. Turner

Cannabis dispensary Western Front celebrated the grand opening of its 98 Winthrop St. location, in partnership with the Harvard Square Business Association, on the evening of July 21.

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Western Front co-founder Dennis A. Benzan, second from the left, stands outside the new Western Front location in Harvard Square behind a banner cut by M. David Gilmore, son of co-founder Marvin E. Gilmore Jr.

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Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Benzan — a former Cambridge vice mayor — greets DJ Bobby Steelz for the grand opening event. The celebration featured live music, yard games, local vendors, and food.

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Cambridge artist Raodee Rekloos paints at the grand opening celebration in Winthrop Park. Rekloos has partnered with Western Front in the past on various art projects. Western Front sells pieces from local artists at their storefronts.

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Lookie Lookie, an Afro-Cuban and Latin Bugalu band from Somerville, performs during the first half of the Western Front grand opening celebration.

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Vicente Lebron, a member of Lookie Lookie, sings while playing the congas.

When asked what Western Front hopes to bring to Harvard Square, Benzan said, “We’re gonna bring coolness, we’re gonna bring vibe, we’re gonna bring culture, and great customer service.”

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Attendees of the grand opening dance to Afro-Cuban and Latin Bugalu music from the band Lookie Lookie.

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Benzan speaks to a crowd, standing with Western Front employees at his side. “We’re a lifestyle, not just a cannabis dispensary,” Benzan says.

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B. Denise Cosby talks to attendees about her son, Justin D.C.D. Cosby, who was fatally shot during the marijuana sale at Kirkland House in 2009. Dedicated to Justin Cosby, the grand opening event featured discussions on the importance of safe and legal cannabis.

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David Gilmore speaks about his father, Marvin Gilmore, 98, who served in World War II and was the first Black person in Cambridge to receive a liquor license. Marvin Gilmore owned a reggae club named Western Front, which inspired the name of the cannabis dispensary he co-founded.

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