BOSTON (CBS) — The opening of Boston’s first recreational pot shop on Monday is expected to bring an influx of people and traffic to Dorchester. Pure Oasis on Blue Hill Avenue is set to open at 11 a.m.
Pure Oasis owner Kobie Evans encouraged future patrons to take public transportation, rideshare, or park in local municipal parking lots. Anyone looking to buy must be 21 years old and have a legal ID.
“It’s going to be crazy Monday, let’s be honest, so let me prepare you for Monday: there is going to be lines and there is going to be cars and there is going to be traffic and there is going to be chaos and there’s going to be confusion. And what we’re going to do is the best job we can possible to make sure that we limit that,” said Mayor Marty Walsh at a news conference Friday.
Designated pick up and drop off zones, new signs, and temporary parking restrictions have been put in place. Walsh said they will be monitoring the situation “hour-by-hour just to see as we move forward so that the neighborhood and people aren’t inconvenienced and it’s not a detriment to the business.”
Evans said the pot shop is working hard to have a positive impact on the community. “We will do our very best to be good neighbors and good business owners and great community partners. We also want to be a partner to everyone who has supported us through this endeavor. The war on drugs has been harsh on our community in so many ways, I am very pleased we can take an important step forward to bring cannabis out of the shadows and now share the benefits with our customers,” he said.
The shop, which Evans co-owns with Kevin Hart, is the city’s only applicant to get through the Cannabis Control Commission’s economic empowerment program, which fast-tracks the review process for companies led by, employing or benefiting members of communities hit hardest by crime and drug arrests.
Walsh, who previously opposed legalization, congratulated the men and acknowledged the public’s support of recreational pot. “There’s no secret that I was not supportive of this legislation in 2016 but I’ve watched this industry as we’ve moved forward here from 2016 and for the most part, people have been very professional about it. I want to thank the community for coming to hours and hours and hours and hundreds and hundreds of meetings across the city of Boston to have conversations about what it looks like. I want to thank the Cannabis Control Commission for their dedication and their work.”
He added, “Boston is the first city in the United States of America to formally prioritize diverse applicants. And that’s something that is really, really important to all of us.”
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said, “The citizens of the Commonwealth voted for the legalization of marijuana, we will abide by their vote. We as the Boston Police Department are deeply rooted in community policing, we support all businesses and what they bring to the table.”
According to Evans, most of the concerns they fielded about Pure Oasis revolved around parking and traffic.
“We operate business as if we live in this neighborhood,” he said.