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1 US MA: Massachusetts Marijuana Retailers May Soon Get Final Go-AheadSun, 09 Sep 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:95 Added:09/12/2018

BOSTON - A handful of the marijuana businesses granted provisional licenses have informed the Cannabis Control Commission they are ready to be inspected, one of the final steps before retail sales of marijuana, approved by voters almost two years ago, can begin.

CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said late last week the agency is working to schedule inspections for two or three provisionally licensed businesses. Hoffman said the inspections are expected to take place "over the next week, plus or minus."

He said it's possible the CCC could vote at its next meeting, Sept. 20, to issue a final license if a business passes its inspection and fulfills other requirements by then.

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2 US MA: Worcester Banks On Potential Revenue From Adult-Use, MedicalSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Kotsopoulos, Nick Area:Massachusetts Lines:225 Added:07/14/2018

WORCESTER - Moments after the Board of Health unanimously voted Monday night to issue the city's first license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary, many of those in attendance began to applaud.

It was a modest celebration of sorts - for the representatives of Good Chemistry of Massachusetts Inc., which was awarded the first license, public health officials and members of the Board of Health - as it culminated what was a long process that began more than 5= years ago.

Soon after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum question in 2012 to legalize marijuana for medical use, Good Chemistry began scoping out potential sites for a dispensary in the city.

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3 US MA: What To Know About Recreational Marijuana Sales InThu, 05 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:190 Added:07/10/2018

July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other day since December 15, 2016, when it became legal in Massachusetts to possess, grow and give away small quantities of cannabis.

But in the intervening year-and-a-half, no retailers have begun selling the drug. Advocates of its recreational use have grown frustrated at the retail rollout's plodding pace.

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4 U.S. Attorney In Massachusetts Says Opioids, Not Cannabis, A PriorityTue, 10 Jul 2018
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Ormseth, Matthew Area:Massachusetts Lines:92 Added:07/10/2018

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana.

American Grow Lab employees gather clippings from "mother" plants to be grown into use for medical marijuana. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)

The top federal law enforcement official in Massachusetts signaled Tuesday he would not aggressively prosecute people for using and selling marijuana -- a federal, if not state crime -- saying that while he could not "effectively immunize" residents from federal laws criminalizing the drug, his office was turning its attention to the state's opioid problem.

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5 US MA: PUB LTE: Marijuana No Barrier To Safe DrivingSun, 08 Jul 2018
Source:Salem News (MA) Author:Epstein, Steven S. Area:Massachusetts Lines:42 Added:07/08/2018

To the editor:

Your June 28 editorial, "Marijuana-impaired drivers a growing danger," lacks a rational basis for crying wolf. In fact, marijuana consumption's negligible impact on driving ability pales next to alcohol and distraction by smartphone use.

While no one expects an editorial board to research extensively law enforcement claims on this subject, as a reader I do expect you to do some research in the scientific journals and not popular press.

Had you done so, you would have found the growing consensus that the motor vehicle accident odds ratio following marijuana consumption and driving is an order of magnitude smaller than a blood alcohol level over .05.

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6 US MA: Can The Mass. Marijuana Industry Help Heal CommunitiesSat, 05 May 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:05/05/2018

From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, industries across America are struggling to redress decades of discrimination and boost the ranks of minorities and the disenfranchised in their workforces.

But what if you could design an industry from scratch? Could you somehow bake in diversity and fairness?

We're about to find out.

Last month, Massachusetts rolled out the country's first statewide marijuana industry "equity" program, giving preferential treatment to people who are typically marginalized by the business world.

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7 US MA: Region's Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens In OxfordThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Moulton, Cyrus Area:Massachusetts Lines:63 Added:04/24/2018

OXFORD - The brand-new computers, minimalist modern decor and iPad check-in seem more akin to an Apple Store. But the security guard and the very slight sickly-sweet smell upon entering reveal the true nature of the new business on Main Street: It's the region's second marijuana dispensary and it celebrated its grand opening Wednesday.

Curaleaf operates a dispensary in Hanover and a state-of-the-art grow facility in Webster. It plans to open a third dispensary in Provincetown at the end of the summer. It opened its roughly 2,000-square-foot dispensary in Oxford on Saturday and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.

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8 US MA: Northboro Seeks To Ban Medical Marijuana Other Towns Eye OnlyFri, 06 Apr 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Thompson, Elaine Area:Massachusetts Lines:151 Added:04/11/2018

Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana establishments and ways to regulate them.

Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana establishments.

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9 US MA: Mass. Pot Business Applications Strong On First Day OfTue, 03 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:90 Added:04/03/2018

In just the first day of accepting preliminary applications, the Cannabis Control Commission said 23 companies and entrepreneurs had submitted requests for expedited licensing, and another 167 were in the process after the agency launched its online licensing system Monday.

"Yesterday was a seminal day in the thus-far-brief history of the commission," said Steve Hoffman, the agency's chairman. "There were probably a large number of people that didn't think we'd be ready on April 2 to start accepting applications," but the agency's regulations were in place on time last month and its system worked smoothly, he added.

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10 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Licensing To Begin MondaySun, 01 Apr 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:113 Added:04/03/2018

On Monday at noon, decades of debate all come down to this: a click of a computer mouse by a state technology contractor.

With that, the Massachusetts state government's system for legal pot use will blink to life, and businesses can begin applying for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis to adults 21 and older.

The behind-the-scenes milestone will not have an immediate impact on consumers. But it does mark the beginning of a process that regulators expect will lead to the debut of recreational pot sales in July.

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11 US MA: There's More To That Dartmouth Study Trump Mentioned In HisWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Annear, Steve Area:Massachusetts Lines:88 Added:03/25/2018

When President Trump took the stage in New Hampshire on Monday and delivered a fiery speech about how the White House plans to tackle the nationwide opioid problem, he leaned heavily on the idea that the Massachusetts city of Lawrence was largely to blame for the scourge of addiction in the Granite State.

Citing a 2017 study by researchers at Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine, the president said the "sanctuary city" of Lawrence, a community that restricts its cooperation with federal immigration officials, is one of "the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties."

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12 US MA: Editorial: Executing Drug Dealers Is A Bad IdeaWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:70 Added:03/21/2018

President Trump made big news in New Hampshire this week with his call for applying the death penalty to big drug dealers - and that only goes to show that bad policy makes for easy headlines.

The best explanation of why that's a thoroughly wrong-headed approach is also the simplest: Western societies don't execute people for those kinds of crimes. Nor should we start.

Without using names, Trump cited conversations with international leaders who supposedly told him their countries have no drug problems because they have the death penalty for drug traffickers. Only a handful of nations routinely execute drug smugglers or traffickers. Among them: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia. That's hardly an honor roll of nations that respect human rights and liberties or the process of law; their leaders are not the people Trump should be consulting on criminal justice policy.

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13 US MA: Recreational Marijuana Companies Face Bans, Moratoriums InFri, 16 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:184 Added:03/20/2018

Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, a Globe review has found, 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, according to local news reports, municipal records, and data collected by the office of Attorney General Maura Healey.

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14 US MA: DARE Officers, Their Ranks Thinned, Face Legal Pot And OpioidTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Contrera, Jessica Area:Massachusetts Lines:218 Added:03/16/2018

WEST BRIDGEWATER - The class had covered bullying, Internet safety, and good decision-making, and by February, Officer Kenneth Thaxter could see that the sixth-graders were ready.

The lights went off, and the projector went on.

"Today," the DARE officer said, "we're going to talk about marijuana."

For 16 years, every elementary school student in this small town has learned about drugs from Thaxter. But this year, his lesson needed to change, and he was about to find out whether the students knew why.

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15 US MA: Trafficking Will Disqualify Potential Pot Industry WorkersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Young, Colin A. Area:Massachusetts Lines:119 Added:03/05/2018

The state Cannabis Control Commission split 3-2 Wednesday over whether to automatically disqualify people with trafficking convictions from working with legal marijuana.

People with a prior conviction for trafficking in drugs other than marijuana will be barred from working in jobs that include access to the plant in the newly legal marijuana industry, a decision made after about an hour of tense debate among state pot regulators.

The Cannabis Control Commission split 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon over whether to automatically disqualify people with trafficking convictions from working with marijuana, adding those convictions to a list of automatically disqualifying issues like being registered as a sex offender, open or unresolved criminal proceedings, violent felony convictions, and felony convictions involving drugs other than marijuana.

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16 US MA: State Shuts Down Retail Sales At Medical Marijuana Shops InTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:McGuinness, Dylan Area:Massachusetts Lines:58 Added:03/01/2018

The state Department of Public Health has suspended retail sales of medical marijuana products at Healthy Pharms Inc. until further notice after a sample tested positive for a pesticide, officials said Monday.

The company, which has retail locations in Cambridge and Georgetown, notified the state on Friday that a sample batch of marijuana was found to contain bifenthrin, a pesticide commonly used in food products, the Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Registered marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts are prohibited from using pesticides on marijuana grown in their facilities, officials said. Healthy Pharms said none of the marijuana from the contaminated batch was sold to the public.

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17 US MA: Marijuana Regulators Strike Licensing CompromiseTue, 27 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:133 Added:03/01/2018

State regulators voted Monday to limit the roll-out of recreational marijuana sales in July, postponing licensing of home delivery services and pot lounges while allowing retail pot shops and their suppliers to open in July as scheduled.

The Cannabis Control Commission had been under pressure to delay delivery and "social consumption" operations from Governor Charlie Baker and other political figures, law enforcement officials, and medical marijuana business interests, who had argued the nascent agency was trying to do too much at the outset and would struggle to oversee so many different types of operations.

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18 US MA: Worcester Zoning Regs Proposed For Marijuana EstablishmentsSun, 25 Feb 2018
Source:Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) Author:Kotsopoulos, Nick Area:Massachusetts Lines:123 Added:02/27/2018

WORCESTER - City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. wants to ban recreational marijuana retail stores, cultivators, manufacturers and related establishments from all residential-zoned areas and preclude them from being located within 500 feet of schools, public parks, playgrounds, licensed day care centers and public libraries.

Under zoning amendments being recommended by Mr. Augustus, recreational marijuana establishments would only be allowed by special permit in areas zoned for manufacturing and business uses, as well as in Institutional-Hospital zones and in the Airport zone, which includes the industrial park next to Worcester Regional Airport.

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19 US MA: Top Cannabis Regulator: Massachusetts Should ConsiderThu, 22 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Adams, Dan Area:Massachusetts Lines:153 Added:02/26/2018

Massachusetts should consider creating a state-run bank to serve recreational marijuana companies, the state's top cannabis official suggested Wednesday, warning that an all-cash industry would create security risks and regulatory headaches.

With recreational pot sales scheduled to begin in July, Cannabis Control Commission chairman Steve Hoffman said no local banks or credit unions have committed to providing financial services to recreational marijuana shops and other licensed cannabis operations, wary they will run afoul of federal restrictions.

"There's a high degree of urgency, so it's something we need to start talking about," Hoffman said in an interview. "Unfortunately, it's a real possibility" that the recreational industry won't have access to any banking services, he said. "We're working as hard as we can to preempt that, but we can't force any bank or credit union to service this industry."

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20 US MA: Healey, Legislators Pile On Cannabis CommissionThu, 15 Feb 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Miller, Joshua Area:Massachusetts Lines:82 Added:02/15/2018

Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this summer.

In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.

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