First Marijuana Shop in Major East Coast City Opens

Boston's Pure Oasis expects big crowds
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 9, 2020 10:15 AM CDT
First Marijuana Shop in Major East Coast City Opens
Mike Whittaker, below right, director of operations at Pure Oasis recreational marijuana shop, applies bar codes to containers of cannabis flowers as workers, behind center, rehearse using registers in the store Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The first recreational marijuana shop in a major East Coast city opens Monday in Boston, where owners are bracing for large crowds. Pure Oasis owners Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart say they're preparing for up to 1,000 customers a day to visit the store—which is also the first pot shop owned and operated by black entrepreneurs—in its initial days. The shop is located about 4 miles south of downtown in the city's diverse Dorchester neighborhood, per the AP. Mayor Marty Walsh says police will also make sure the opening is safe and orderly, with officers helping with crowd and traffic control and discouraging public consumption of marijuana. The drug may be legal in the state, but public consumption of it isn't.

Pure Oasis joins roughly 40 retail marijuana locations already open in Massachusetts, though it's the only one that's run by black entrepreneurs nearly four years after state voters passed the nation's first marijuana law aimed at encouraging people of color and others harmed by the war on drugs to participate in the new industry. The 3,000-square-foot shop, which will close daily at 7pm, sits on a bustling high street that cuts through some of the state's most diverse communities. Customers must be 21 years or age or older to enter and will be subject to certain purchase limits, at least for the initial days of operation. They'll only be allowed to buy an eighth of marijuana flower, for example, while state law allows shops to sell customers up to an ounce of flower per visit.

(More marijuana stories.)

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