Boston prepped and ready for first cannabis retail store’s grand opening

BOSTON — Boston’s first pot shop is set to open Monday and city officials say traffic, parking and security plans will be in place for the big moment.

Pure Oasis LLC in Dorchester is the state’s first economic empowerment applicant and the first minority-owned cannabis business in the state.

The recreational cannabis shop will be the first to open in the city of Boston.

"It's all about perseverance," the store's co-owner, Kobe Evans, told Boston 25 News.

[East Coast’s first minority-owned pot shop opening soon in Boston]

Evans says the store is stocked and ready to receive what could be hundreds coming through the door Monday.

"Let me prepare you for Monday," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said outside the store Friday. "There’s going to be lines, and there’s going to be cars, there's going to be traffic and there’s going to be chaos and there’s going to be confusion. And what we’re gonna do is the best job as we can possible to limit that."

There will be pick-up and drop-off zones, parking restrictions for the first week and residents are urged to use public transportation and call 311 for questions and concerns.

"What we’ve done most recently is outreach to the community through people on our team to talk to the neighbors to let them know that we’re coming and address any concerns they may have also," co-owner Kevin Hart said.

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Pure Oasis is the first economic empowerment applicant and the first minority-owned cannabis company in the state to open. But other empowerment applicants say it has become increasingly difficult to work with municipalities on host community agreements.

"We have asked the legislature to give us more enforcement over the host community agreements, which has been a barrier," Cannabis Control Commission Chair Steve Hoffman said. "A lot of the cities and towns, I’m not going to name names, but cities and towns are asking for substantial amounts of money above and beyond the mitigation fees. And that’s obviously a barrier to smaller entrants."

A bill that would give the cannabis commission the ability to review host community agreements advanced out of committee in January. Representative Elizabeth Miranda (D-Boston) says some communities may be trying to circumvent the law.

"What we’re trying to do is make sure this law that was intended to help right the wrongs on the war on drugs actually stays as close to the commitment as possible," Miranda said. "And if you raise exorbitant fees in different cities and towns to essentially block people out, then you’re essentially not following the law."

Another boon to equity applicants is a measure that would set up a low to no interest loan fund, which has advanced at the statehouse.

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