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Bill Weld: Former governor, now marijuana hype man

10/19/18--As a featured speaker at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition in Boston, Bill Weld, former US attorney and governor of Massachusetts, appeared to be a hype man for Acreage Holdings. Weld actually supported marijuana for medical use as governor in the early 1990s, long before that policy had the widespread support of Americans. He also strongly endorsed the STATES Act, a bill that would repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana and allow states to set their own policies on the drug. Read

Maine warns against kids ingesting marijuana by accident

10/6/18--Maine says the number of young children accidentally ingesting marijuana has risen from 2 in 2016 to 16 in 2017, citing figures provided by the Northern New England Poison Center. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services says accidental marijuana ingestion often occurs when marijuana is combined with food to create ‘‘edible’’ candy, brownies, and other baked goods. The state says doing so may entice children to eat them without knowing they contain the drug. Read

Mayor says pot rally left an ‘appalling’ mess on Boston Common

9/26/18--Mayor Martin J. Walsh and some members of the Boston City Council are unhappy with leaders of the annual, marijuana-themed “Freedom Rally” held on Boston Common earlier this month, with Walsh saying the three-day event left an “appalling” mess. Representatives of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition acknowledged that several vendors had failed to clean up, as required. Read

Marijuana growers threaten to sue Cannabis Commission

9/11/18--Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council, an organization representing Massachusetts marijuana growers, is considering a lawsuit to compel the Cannabis Control Commission to review the statutorily required agreements between marijuana businesses and their host towns, something the CCC has resisted doing under the impression it does not have the authority to do so. Read

Federal officials investigating alleged marijuana delivery service in Hyde Park

9/7/18--Federal agents investigating Northern Herb, an alleged unlicensed marijuana delivery business, found “substantial” quantities of the drug and cash last month when they raided a residence in Milton and a warehouse in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston, according to recent court filings. Read

Massachusetts refuses to referee marijuana testing dispute

8/21/18--Mandated laboratory testing would ensure that cannabis products sold in regulated stores are free of pesticides, mold, and other contaminants. Yet, a bitter scientific and business feud has split into two camps the state’s four marijuana testing labs, which currently serve medical dispensaries and will soon join the lucrative recreational market. The state Department of Public Health, which oversees medical marijuana, has declined to referee the dispute or update its testing regime, despite warnings from the labs that a lack of standards and holes in protocols are undermining confidence in the system. Read

State’s new marijuana ads strike friendly tone

8/10/18--A new public awareness campaign is adopting a gentler, non-judgmental tone as officials work to educate Massachusetts residents on the state’s cannabis laws and to decrease youth use rates. The campaign, dubbed “More About Marijuana,” was unveiled Thursday by the state Cannabis Control Commission and Department of Public Health, and includes two 30-second animated videos and a website. Read

Driving stoned: Massachusetts standard needed

8/9/18--State public safety officials are viewing stoned driving as a major problem. They may be doing their best to head it off, but without changes in the law, their best won’t be good enough. With medical marijuana already on the scene and the first recreational pot shops being licensed, the case for keeping drugged drivers from getting behind the wheel has grown more urgent. Read

Pot shops face bans in most of Mass.

3/17/18--Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, the latest indication that there will be fewer pot stores in the early going than many consumers expected. At least 189 of the state’s 351 municipalities have barred retail marijuana stores and, in most cases, cultivation facilities and other cannabis operations, too. Read

Will Massachusetts become the first marijuana ‘sanctuary state’?

1/20/18--Two state representatives, Dave Rogers and Mike Connolly, want to turn Massachusetts into a sanctuary state for marijuana, filing legislation that would prohibit state and local police from participating in federal cases against people or licensed operators who follow state cannabis laws. Read

Mass. is getting one step closer to legal marijuana sales

11/21/17--The Cannabis Control Commission is pushing to write a first draft of new rules permitting the legal sale of marijuana in Massachusetts by the end of the year. Among numerous details, the commission plans to spell out the criteria for winning dispensary licenses, rules for marijuana consumption bars, and a plan for ensuring diversity in the industry. Read

‘Juuling’: The most widespread phenomenon you’ve never heard of

11/16/17--Juuling, a discreet form of vamping, is a widespread phenomenon. In some high schools, the “Juuling in the bathroom” problem has gotten so intense that administrators are sending home e-mails warning parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes in general — and, in particular, about a brand called Juul, which makes sleek devices that are easily concealed and often mistaken for thumb drives. Read

State to move forward with new medical marijuana rules

10/24/17--After a yearlong delay, Governor Charlie Baker’s administration said it will move forward with a series of improvements to the state’s medical marijuana program, drawing praise from dispensaries and patients who said the changes are overdue. The new rules are meant to ease the regulatory burden on dispensaries and make it easier for patients to get access to medical marijuana. Read

Is this cannabis B&B the start of New England pot tourism?

10/27/17--John Jones and Alexandra Tuccy, owners of Maine Greenyards, are savvy young ganjapreneurs who want to turn their bed and breakfast (referred to in the article as a "bud and breakfast") into a cannabis winery. They envision guests touring the property to see how marijuana is grown, learning about different varieties, and sampling. They bought the property, located on 16 acres, last December, just after Maine passed a law legalizing marijuana. They were inspired by the booming pot tourism market in Colorado. Read

California marijuana services firm sets up shop in Boston, joins Chamber of Commerce

9/17/17--Weedmaps, one of the country’s larger and more established marijuana firms selling software to licensed cannabis operators, is finalizing a lease for a downtown Boston office to accommodate its sales and lobbying team. Its executives want to be in close to the rollout of new rules for the nascent industry in Massachusetts and have the firm well-established locally by the time dispensaries open up next summer. Weedmaps also just became the first marijuana-related company to join the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Read

Marijuana rally on Boston Common features vendors, music, and plenty of pot

9/16/17--Thousands crowded Boston Common Saturday at the Boston Freedom Rally to celebrate the legal use of marijuana. The annual gathering began in 1989, but this year’s event marked the first since Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana last November with about 54 percent of the electorate in support. Read

Federal anti-drug official seeks Mass. medical marijuana data

8/25/17--Dale Quigley, deputy coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, or NMI, has asked Massachusetts health officials for data on the age, gender, and medical condition of the state’s approximately 40,000 registered medical marijuana patients. Quigley is a former police officer in Colorado with a long history of speaking out against legalization. Read

When it comes to marijuana foods, regulation drives innovation

8/16/17--Marijuana entrepreneurs working with edibles seem to have no trouble dreaming up creative treats and concoctions infused with psychoactive THC. However, being innovative is necessary since they must adhere to extensive health and safety regulations. Despite mandated regulations, politicians and public health officials have voiced sharp concerns about weed-infused edibles. They worry about their appeal to children and the perils of overconsumption. Read

Mass. lawmakers unveil proposed overhaul of marijuana law

7/17/17--The Massachusetts Legislature is expected to approve a broad overhaul of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law this week after House and Senate negotiators agreed on a bill that would hike marijuana taxes and change how communities can ban local pot shops. Read

Boston startup dives into marijuana industry with high-tech sensor to weed out impurities

7/16/17--The Boston startup 908 Devices has unveiled a new sensor intended to give it a foothold in a less conventional but fast-growing industry of commercial marijuana. The sensor, dubbed the G908, is a countertop “push-button” mass spectrometer designed to identify cannabis compounds. Its designers say the device approaches the accuracy of traditional “gold standard” lab equipment but is far smaller, faster, cheaper, and easier to use. Read

Marijuana billboard in South Boston called ‘insensitive’

7/12/17--A marijuana billboard owned by Clear Channel featuring an advertisement placed by Weedmaps, an online marijuana dispensary rating service that also sells inventory software to pot shops, has been deemed insensitive as a result of being placed in a neighborhood hard hit by opioid abuse. Furthermore, the message violates Clear Channel's own policy regarding “exclusionary zones.’’ Read

Ed Markey demands apology from Kellyanne Conway for comment on addiction

6/26/17--Senator Ed Markey issued a fiery statement Monday demanding an apology from White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, after she stated that people suffering from drug addiction need “a four-letter word called ‘will’ ’’ in an interview about health care’s role in stemming the ongoing opioid crisis. Markey, in a statement, said Conway’s words are a “death sentence’’ for those suffering from opioid addiction. Read

Mass. Senate passes marijuana bill

6/22/17--The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill Thursday making targeted adjustments to the voter-mandated marijuana legalization law, but differing starkly from a more extensive replacement measure approved by the House just a day earlier. Senators voted 30-5 in favor of their version. Legislative leaders have vowed to send a bill to Governor Charlie Baker by next Friday to allow retail shops to open by July 2018. Read

Rewriting the Mass. pot law is a bad idea, but legislators are doing it anyway

6/22/17--House legislators have decided they must jump in and completely rewrite the law voters passed by ballot in November. Representative Mark Cusack, House chairman of the Marijuana Policy Committee, outlined his legislation rewriting the ballot law. Those who actually worked to get marijuana legalized were outside the State House this week protesting against the House bill. Read

High Times: a look at weed tax laws across the country

6/21/17--A bill that would increase the tax rate on recreational marijuana from 12 percent to 28 percent sparked controversy when it was introduced in the Massachusetts House. Advocates who want to preserve the legalization law approved by voters say the tax rate pushed by the House would contribute to illegal sales by increasing the price of legal pot. Supporters of the House measure claim it would keep marijuana out of the hands of minors by sharply limiting advertising and putting more restrictions on edibles. Read

Mass. House votes to make major changes to pot law

6/21/17--The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed an expansive rewrite of the voter-approved marijuana legalization law — a bill that would alter major aspects of the referendum backed by 1.8 million voters just seven months ago. The 126-to-28 vote sets up a showdown with the Senate, which is expected to greenlight a much more modest adjustment of the recreational pot law. Read

Tobacco wholesalers want in on recreational marijuana

6/6/17--Tobacco businesses argue they have experience safeguarding a sensitive product through the supply chain, using sophisticated tracking technology that makes it difficult for bootleggers to pass off untaxed, smuggled cigarettes while also making it easier for inspectors to verify a pack has come through legitimate channels. By doing the same for the marijuana industry, they believe they can keep the black market at bay. The push by tobacco companies comes amid declines in their business. Read

Federal prosecutors may again push for harsher sentences

5/9/17--Justice Department officials have been weighing new guidance that would encourage prosecutors to charge suspects with the most serious offenses they can prove. If embraced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this could result in an increased use of rigid mandatory minimum sentences that critics have called unnecessarily harsh. Read