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Board approves another downtown pot shop - which is closer to another one than called for by city ordinance

Kobie Evans explains proposal

Kobie Evans of Pure Oasis makes his case.

The Zoning Board of Appeal today approved a Dorchester duo's proposed marijuana market at 83-89 Devonshire Street at Water Street downtown - less than a quarter mile from an existing shop on Milk Street.

This is the latest cannabis concern the board has approved that is closer to an existing facility than the half mile set in an ordinance enacted in 2016.

Board member Mark Erlich cast one of the two no votes on the proposal, not, he said, because there's anything wrong with the proposal itself but because he's tired of being put in the position of having to grant an exemption to official city policy. Maybe, he suggested, it's time for the City Council to change the ordinance, since such applications keep coming before the board. Board member Kosta Ligris also voted against the proposal for that reason.

Kobie Evans, who with partner Kevin Hart operates the Pure Oasis dispensary in Grove Hall, said "the site chose us," because it turns out downtown Boston is actually pretty small and there are few locations suitable for a dispensary because of the presence of a "sober" high school on Temple Place. "The vast majority of downtown is out of play," he said.

But Evans and his attorney, Alexis Tkachuk, added that downtown is different from other neighborhoods because of how dense it is and how much foot traffic it gets, so what might be considered "clustering" of dispensaries elsewhere in Boston wouldn't really be downtown.

The new Pure Oasis - which still requires approval of the state Cannabis Control Commission - would have roughly 7,000 square feet of space over 2 1/2 floors. Tkakchuk said this means the store would have more than enough room on its ground level to have all customers waiting inside, rather than queuing on the sidewalk.

Board member Joe Ruggiero expressed concern about the large picture windows on the first floor of the space, which he said are an integral part of the building's pre-war charm, because of state cannabis regulations that require applicants to shield their retail space from outside views.

Evans said Pure Oasis is looking at how to continue to celebrate the architecture of the building while still adhering to the state regulations. He said one possibility is to add a polycarbonate layer that would let light in but not prying eyes.

Ruggiero moved to approve the project, but with "design review" by the BPDA to see how to not completely obliterate the look of the building with blacked-out windows.



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As the crow flies. Google Maps puts the distance as a bit over 400 feet.

I wonder who is politically connected to whom here.

Voting closed 26

It's a different non-anti-weed Mayor and a Zoning Board that is about to be removed of its responsibilities regarding marijuana. So at this point, applicants know they can just apply hope for an exemption before someone else does it. The buffer was not going to work. It is another intentional piece of bureaucratic red tape put in place purposefully to give a few individuals more power.

Voting closed 15

It is another intentional piece of bureaucratic red tape put in place purposefully to give a few individuals more power.

Let the Libertarianism flow through you.

Voting closed 19

Good! Especially since he is a POC and not a hedge fund manager:)

No reason why there shouldn't be as many cannabis shops as there are bars and packies.

Voting closed 22


They're just gonna keep applying. Do the anti-weed people even have the energy to fight every one of them ad infinitum? The jig is up. It's Downtown Boston- not the American Legion Highway Shopping Plaza.

Also, Pure Oasis is also looking to Open a Shop in Brighton. That will max them out at the state cap of 3 retailers...Brighton, Downtown, and Roxbury.

Voting closed 14

The Defcon Six Freakout when people thought there was hole in the roof of State Street station here when it turned out that is was the basement of 85 Devonshire extending under the sidewalk.


By the way - It was the T who caused the whole by drilling into the sidewalk for a bus stop sign. I saw the manager of this building with steam coming out of his ears trying to get someone else's mistake fixed. The T then moved the sign a few feet north and onto "solid" ground.

Voting closed 13

how severe is Defcon Six?

Voting closed 8

Let the market decide how many cannabis dispensaries are downtown. Seems everyone with any power is terrified of letting any sort of natural price-seeking happen in this industry.

Voting closed 17

The "half-mile" rule is, was, and will always be dumb. The city isn't an urban sprawl like Houston. This spot is almost exactly half a mile from Ascend up by North Station too.

Also, is the neighboring store the one on Milk that was medicinal only and some how got its own exception to allow it to then ALSO sell recreational when they had some agreement themselves to never request that (and then requested it anyways) or am I misremembering that?

We don't need to "let the market decide". We'd likely end up with weed stores upon weed stores as everyone wants a fast deal and hopes to survive the culling over time to come out on top as the "market decides" which stores win and which lose. However, at the same time, we could do with enough that the places that seem to have been connected enough to get through the red tape already get some competition because they STILL have Brookline cops dealing with weekend traffic at NETA. I don't know about all the other area locations but it seems the market could really use some easing.

Voting closed 15