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.