Regulators poised to vote on final license for Dorchester marijuana shop

Pure Oasis on Blue Hill Ave. could become the first marijuana store to open in Boston

Pure Oasis, at 430 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester, could receive a final license from the Cannabis Control Commission this week.
Pure Oasis, at 430 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester, could receive a final license from the Cannabis Control Commission this week.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

State regulators are expected to vote this week on whether to issue a final license to Pure Oasis, a proposed Dorchester recreational marijuana store that could become the first to open in Boston.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission will vote at its monthly meeting Thursday in Worcester, according to an agenda it published Tuesday.

If the commission’s five top officials vote in favor of issuing the permit, it will kick off a final stretch of inspections and preparations for opening that typically last about six weeks.

If Pure Oasis follows that trend, its ribbon-cutting would take place in mid-March. However, some companies have needed substantially more time to obtain their official “commence operations” notices from the commission and begin marijuana sales.


Boston officials said last week that Pure Oasis has obtained a final certificate of occupancy from the city for its location at 430 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester’s Grove Hall neighborhood, one of the last local steps required.

In addition to probably becoming the first recreational cannabis store in Boston, Pure Oasis would be the first to successfully emerge from the commission’s “economic empowerment” program, which grants faster reviews to companies that are led by, employ, or benefit members of communities that were hit hardest by high rates of marijuana arrests before legalization.

The company is co-owned by Kobie Evans, a Boston real estate agent, and Kevin Hart, a health care manager from Randolph. Evans previously told the Globe that he and Hart had both experienced unwarranted police stops and searches associated with the so-called war on drugs.

“Any African-American male like myself and my partner who grows up in the inner city has come literally face-to-face with a police officer sticking a gun in our face or being stopped and frisked for no reason,” Evans said in July, when Pure Oasis received a provisional license from the cannabis commission. “It’s normalized to us, and unfortunately people don’t realize it has long-lasting traumatic effects.”


The licensing vote comes amid growing frustration among applicants over the commission’s pace. Consumers, too are frustrated: More than three years after marijuana was legalized, no pot shops have opened in Boston, and lines remain long at the cannabis retailer nearest to the city, New England Treatment Access in Brookline.

In Boston, officials in the administration of Mayor Martin J. Walsh have issued coveted “host community agreements" — contracts spelling out payments to the city, hours of operation, and so on — to 12 prospective recreational retailers. The deals are required for state licensure.

Walsh, who campaigned unsuccessfully to defeat marijuana legalization 2016, said the city is ready to welcome Pure Oasis to the ranks of local businesses.

“I look forward to their business opening as Boston continues to prioritize equity, and support diverse and local ownership in this new industry," Walsh said in a statement. "Congratulations to Kobie and Kevin on their hard work and the upcoming opening of Pure Oasis.”

Boston’s process for deciding which marijuana companies move forward is about to change drastically, after the enactment in November of an ordinance authored by City Council president Kim Janey that will create a Boston Cannabis Board to publicly evaluate and vote on local license applications. The new system was prompted, in part, by widespread criticism that the previous one was slow and opaque.


Felicia Gans of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Dan Adams can be reached at daniel.adams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Adams86.