By Associated Press
(AP) — Boston’s first recreational marijuana shop — and also happens to be the state’s first black-owned one — is slated to open on March 9.
Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission authorized Pure Oasis to begin operations. The “commence operations” notice was the last administrative step needed after regulators awarded it a final license last month.
Owners Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart said they plan to welcome the first customers to their storefront in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood at 11 a.m. on Monday.
Pure Oasis is the first store to open after participating in the state’s so-called “equity” programs to help black, Latino and other business owners from communities impacted by the war on drugs enter the legal marijuana industry.
Massachusetts has nearly 40 retail marijuana locations, but only one is in Greater Boston: New England Treatment Access, in the affluent suburb of Brookline.
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.
And in Boston, Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh has faced criticism for his city’s particularly slow rollout of pot shops since voters approved legalizing marijuana in 2016.
On Wednesday, Walsh announced he’d appointed five people to a new Cannabis Board meant to oversee the local approval process.
AP Photo Hans Pennink