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Pure Oasis, both the first recreational marijuana dispensary in Boston and the first Black-owned pot shop in Massachusetts, was among the many businesses hit by looting early Monday morning in the city.
Kobie Evans, a co-owner of Pure Oasis, told The Boston Globe that more than a dozen people entered the store after breaking through a large window around 1:43 a.m. Monday and stole roughly 2,000 pre-rolled joints and 2,000 containers of marijuana flower worth more than $100,000.
Ascend Wellness Holdings entered into an agreement to purchase Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair, one of the New Jersey’s six original alternative treatment centers.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval by the state’s Department of Health.
COVID-19 is changing industries across the globe, and the cannabis industry is no different.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit, cannabis regulators moved quickly to decide whether and how cannabis shops could remain open. Most states declared cannabis essential, both for medical and adult use, with the exception of Massachusetts, which halted adult use sales as part of the effort to stem the spread.
Marijuana stores are slowly opening around Massachusetts, but industry analysts estimate that three-quarters of all cannabis sales still occur under the table.
In that climate, police leaders say they are unsure of their role when it comes to unlicensed marijuana sellers. They are caught between licensed companies that are urging crackdowns on their non-tax-paying competitors selling cheaper cannabis, and communities calling for no more pot arrests, which have historically targeted people of color.
Black entrepreneurs who say people of color are being shut out of the lucrative marijuana trade are joining forces to close the gap.
Real Action for Cannabis Equity, or RACE, launched Thursday in Boston, and its founders said the coalition will work to create more opportunities in the industry for minority owners.
Organizers said they're frustrated that all but two of Massachusetts' 184 marijuana business licenses have been issued to white operators. Voters in the state approved recreational marijuana use and sales in a 2016 referendum.