‘Empowerment’ carries the day for owners of Grove Hall cannabis shopPosted by On


Permit in hand, they plan to open in October

Dorchester native Kobie Evans and his business partner, Kevin Hart, both African American, were granted a permit last month to open Boston’s first recreational cannabis shop in Grove Hall. Pure Oasis, the first marijuana store in Massachusetts to benefit from an economic empowerment program offered by the Cannabis Control Commission. It is expected to open by late October.

When Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, the state became the first in the nation to include a mandate prioritizing disenfranchised groups as a way to assist people disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Evans and Hart, just friends at the time, were hanging out one afternoon talking about the barriers people of color and black men face in order to be successful in Massachusetts. This was at a time when the Boston Globe Spotlight Team had published a series on race that highlighted, among other things, data from a 2015 Color of Wealth…

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