After receiving final approval from state regulators on Thursday, Boston’s first recreational cannabis shop will open its doors to customers next week. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s “commence operations” notice issued to Pure Oasis in the Grove Hall community of Dorchester will allow the retailer to open on Monday morning.
In addition to being the first licensed recreational cannabis shop within Boston’s city limits, Pure Oasis is also the first retailer to be operated by a member of the state’s economic empowerment program, which was created to foster ownership in the cannabis industry by members of communities disproportionately harmed by the failed War on Drugs. Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart, the co-owners of the new store, thanked state regulators and city officials in a joint statement on Thursday morning.
“We are excited to reach this important moment where we will open our doors as the first retail cannabis business in Boston and as the first economic empowerment candidate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” they said.
“It’s surreal to make it to the finish line because this started over a conversation about there not being opportunities for people who look like us,” Hart told the Boston Globe.
‘Mixed Emotions’ As Owners Prepare To Open
The two entrepreneurs said that they have been busy this week as they prepare to open the store, where they will sell cannabis flower, oils, and infused edibles.
“It’s mixed emotions,” said Evans. “Depending upon where the second hand is on the clock, it’s either we’re excited, or we’re overwhelmed, or we’re anxious.”
Pure Oasis received its final license from the CCC in February. When the store opens next week it will become the 40th adult-use cannabis retailer to open in Massachusetts. Only one other retailer, New England Treatment Access in nearby Brookline, has been licensed to operate in the metropolitan Boston area.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement that he was proud that the city’s first recreational cannabis retailer was being opened by members of the state’s economic empowerment program.
“We have been very diligent to ensure that as the legal cannabis industry gets off the ground in Boston that there is a strong regulatory process in place, and that the industry represents our values of supporting equity, diversity, and local ownership,” Walsh said.
The CCC has granted provisional licenses to eight additional economic empowerment applicants and five more were approved for licenses this week. Steven Hoffman, the chairman of the agency, said that the opening of Pure Oasis is an “incredibly important milestone.”
“It’s great for Boston, but I’m way more interested in the fact that it’s our first economic empowerment applicant that’s made it all the way through the process,” Hoffman said. “That being said, I recognize that it’s one store. We’ve got a lot more work to do.”