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Pot shop headed to Heights donates to Roxbury store hit by thefts

UPDATED: The company aiming to relocate its marijuana business to the Heights, perhaps by late summer, is donating more than $25,000 worth of cannabis products to a black-owned Roxbury shop hit by thefts during protests.

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Apothca, a cannabis company that operates medical and adult-use retail, cultivation and product manufacturing in Arlington, Lynn, Fitchburg, Westminster and is soon opening a dispensary in Boston, announced the donation to Pure Oasis, the first economic-empowerment licensee in Massachusetts, to help replenish a significant portion of cannabis stolen from the Blue Hill Avenue store on May 31. 

“We at Apothca fully support the peaceful demonstrators throughout the country exercising their constitutionally granted right to protest the unjust systemic racism that has been a blight on this country for so long,” Joseph Lekach, Apothca CEO, said in a June 5 news release. “For too long, police brutality has unfairly targeted minority communities and change needs to happen and happen now.

'Come together as a community'

“We don’t support the individuals taking advantage of so much pain that exists to hurt people and looting a business, like Pure Oasis, which doesn’t send any positive message of change. It just hurts a minority owned and run business that has spent years getting off the ground.

“In times like these, we need to come together as a community and support the citizens and businesses of our communities. As soon as I heard about the theft at Pure Oasis, I knew I didn’t just want to react with words and platitudes, but with action. As a soon to be neighbor in Boston, and as a person who is the son of Latin American immigrants who has also gone through the long process of opening up a cannabis business in Massachusetts, I could only imagine the heartbreak the entire Pure Oasis team is feeling today.”

Pure Oasis opened just weeks before all nonessential businesses were ordered closed in Massachusetts after spending years going through the Cannabis Control Commission’s licensing process, only to be reopened and have a major theft occur.

Apothca describes itself as minority-run business. It is a vertically integrated cannabis company operating in Massachusetts and Oregon. Its two dispensaries in Massachusetts are at 11 Water St., Unit 3b (third floor), Arlington, and 491 Lynnway, Lynn, with a third opening later this year at 54 Hyde Park Ave, Boston. Its state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation campus is in Fitchburg, with the first cannabis greenhouse in Massachusetts.

Asked when he expects to move from Water Street to where Swifty Printing has been in the Heights, at 1386 Mass. Ave., Lekach wrote June 9: "Right now we are hoping for August, but it's subject to change based on when we are given our [Cannabis Control Commission] inspection."

Lekach reported later on June 10 that the town Board of Health voted unanimously the same day to approve our operating permit.

He noted that construction is complete, and the company has its provisional license from the state commission, having requested an inspection in early May. Apothca has received a special permit from the town Redevelopment Board and are in the process of obtaining an operating permit from the town.

Swifty recently sent cards to residents noting its new location would be 1309 Mass. Ave., where New Horizons Hair Salon has been.

Under Gov. Baker’s phase 2 reopening, Apothca began allowing customers to return to the store, following social-distancing protocols, on Wednesday, June 10.


June 1, 2020: Black-owned Boston marijuana store looted in what owners call a targeted attack amid protests

Jan. 10, 2020: Hearings continue over Heights marijuana-store plans
June 5, 2019: Community hears aims for Heights marijuana store
May 22, 2019: Two marijuana-shop proposals get go-ahead

This news summary was published Wednesday, June 10, 2020, and updated to report Board of Health approval.

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