Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart, co-owners of Pure Oasis LLC, welcomed some long-awaited news Thursday when the state's Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) issued a notice authorizing the business--Boston's first retail marijuana dispensary--to open this coming Monday.
The pot shop at 430 Blue Hill Ave. will be the first minority-owned and first African-American-owned marijuana business to open in the state. It will also be the first to benefit from an economic empowerment program offered by the CCC, one of a handful of social justice initiatives included in the state's marijuana legislation aimed at closing the racial wealth divide and making amends for past drug convictions--especially in the African-American community, which historically has been disproportionately targeted and impacted by the war on drugs.
Evans, a native of Uphams Corner, and Hart, who hails from the DMV region, both grew up in areas with high rates of marijuana-related arrests.
As part of the lengthy application process, Pure Oasis entered into a host community agreement by which they will hire a diverse staff of workers--including those with criminal records--from the local community. In response to safety concerns from neighbors, the 3,000 square foot retail space on Blue Hill Avenue will also have additional security and 24/7 video monitoring.
According to a statement, the shop will begin welcoming customers at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 9.