Pot Shop

Boston's 1st Recreational Pot Shop is Open for Business

Pure Oasis, the state's first minority-owned marijuana business, opened its doors at 11 a.m.

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Boston's first recreational pot shop, Pure Oasis, opened its doors for the first time Monday, becoming the state's first minority-owned marijuana business.

The shop opened at 11 a.m. The move came after co-owners Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart received final license approval from the Massachusetts Control Commission last month.

The shop, located at 430 Blue Hill Ave., was expecting up to 1,000 customers a day.

Though there are several pick-up and drop-off spots out front, customers were encouraged to take public transportation.

Niambe McIntosh was the first customer in line. She said her father is a musician and cannabis activist and her brother was imprisoned for marijuana possession.

"It definitely moves the needle forward," McIntosh said of the store opening.

Evans and Hart hope to open two more Pure Oasis shops in the Boston area.

And while some area residents are leery of the shop, Hart said it may be the economic change that's needed.

"I think it's going to be a bring a lot of growth to the neighborhood over time," Hart said. "In the next few years, you're going to see a lot of change here."

Black and Latino groups have voiced their frustration for months at the slow pace of approvals for minority-owned businesses, both in Massachusetts and nationwide.

The state has granted some form of approval to some 280 marijuana companies licenses to date, but only about 10 of those have gone to companies like Pure Oasis that are certified under the state's equity programs for minority and disadvantaged marijuana businesses.

Nearly 75% of those who have applied or approved to work in Massachusetts' legal marijuana industry are white, according to statistics released by the state's Cannabis Control Commission.

Black and Latino people make up less than 12% of the marijuana workforce.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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