COVID Has Created ‘New Clients’ In The Hashish Business, Says Co-Proprietor Of Boston’s First Leisure Dispensary

Kobie Evans, co-owner of Pure Oasis, Boston’s first recreational cannabis pharmacy, joined Boston Public Radio Thursday as part of the BPR’s ongoing series about local businesses emerging from the pandemic.

Pure Oasis, the first black-owned cannabis dispensary in Massachusetts, opened March 9, 2020 under the Cannabis Control Commission’s equity program. But just two weeks after it opened, the company had to temporarily close due to the pandemic. Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency decree, which closed all “non-essential” businesses, including recreational cannabis stores, was lifted in May.

Just days after reopening after the mandatory nationwide shutdown, Pure Oasis cannabis worth over $ 100,000 was looted when looters took advantage of the peaceful demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd.

Despite the hurdles it faced over the past year, Pure Oasis has held onto hope and found ways to survive, Evans said.

“We are eternal optimists,” he said. “In those two months after we closed, we did a lot of research, restructuring and trying to figure out what we could do better and improve the business while we were closed.”

The pandemic presented new challenges for the company, such as moving to roadside delivery and dealing with people anxious to pick up orders due to COVID-19, Evans added.

“But oddly enough, the pandemic has created an entirely new customer base,” he said. “Parents have been bumped into the home with their kids trying to figure out how to work from home. All of a sudden they knock on the door trying to figure out how to get relief.”

Pure Oasis keeps reinventing itself to stay one step ahead of the game, said Evans. “Just like in liquor stores, the cannabis industry has created some new customers with people who need some recovery relief,” he said. “And that’s what we’re here for.”

While a stationary company is associated with its own obstacles, there are still opportunities to further develop Pur Oasis, according to Evans.

“What we can see is improving every customer interaction,” he said. “How do we get better products and how do we reshape the business?” There are things we can do. “

WATCH: Kobie Evans on keeping his business going through the pandemic and creating new customers