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Massachusetts

Buzz kill: Massachusetts’ pot shops reopen, but some fear another shutdown

Published: May 28, 2020, 11:43 am • Updated: May 28, 2020, 11:44 am By Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Marijuana shops in many states have enjoyed brisk business during the coronavirus pandemic. In New England? Not so much. Recreational shops reopened this week in Massachusetts with strict regulations after being ordered shut down the past two months. Now, some worry that state officials could simply shutter them again if there’s a resurgence of the virus in Massachusetts, the only state that has deemed the shops “nonessential” during the pandemic. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

First Boston pot shop, Pure Oasis, opens to small crowds

Nearly four and a half decades after the late Peter Tosh first sang “Legalize it, don’t criticize it,” his daughter Niambe McIntosh became the first person to buy recreational pot legally in Boston. “Of course: The sativa. We’re islanders; we’ve gotta have the sativa,” said McIntosh, who’d just done a little pirouette to celebrate the official opening of Pure Oasis in Dorchester, Boston’s first pot shop, referring to a type of marijuana. McIntosh, an international cannabis activist who lives near the Grove Hall store, was first patron at Pure Oasis, which is also the first African-American-owned pot shop in the state. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Boston’s first recreational pot shop opens three years after legalization vote

Boston’s first recreational marijuana shop will open Monday morning in Dorchester, bringing access to adult-use sales to into the city more than three years after voters approved recreational weed sales. Pure Oasis will open its doors at 11 a.m. Monday at 430 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester’s Grove Hall neighborhood. The shop is owned by Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart, both African-American, representing the first “economic empowerment” candidates in Massachusetts — marijuana companies where minorities make up over half of the staff or meet other criteria. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

First recreational pot shop in Boston to open Monday

The first Boston pot shop has the green light to open up Monday. Pure Oasis will begin selling recreational marijuana products at 430 Blue Hill Ave. in Dorchester at 11 a.m. after the state gave final approval on Thursday. Owners Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart said in a statement, “On behalf of the entire team at Pure Oasis, we are excited to reach this important moment where we will open our doors as the first retail cannabis business in Boston and as the first economic empowerment candidate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We want to thank the Cannabis Control Commission for their ongoing support every step of the way, Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston for their willingness to assist us through this process since day one, the City Council and the community who has embraced us. Read the...

Cambridge appealing decision after pot shop wins fight over two-year moratorium

Less than a month after Cambridge’s attempt to ban a medical marijuana dispensary from selling to all adults for two years was ruled unconstitutional in superior court, the city announced that it has filed an emergency motion to halt the ruling — a decision ripped by the local pot shop. “The City’s actions in pursuing an appeal reflect a contempt for the Court and the rule of law,” Revolutionary Clinics, one of the shops hit by Cambridge’s moratorium, said in a statement. “Rather than working toward solutions and sound policy that can have a tangible impact, the City continues to play politics.” The announcement comes after a Middlesex Superior Court judge ruled on Jan. 24 that the moratorium on Revolutionary Clinics opening a retail pot shop violated the Home Rule Amendment to the Massach...

Boston’s would-be pot entrepreneurs lie in wait as city slow-walks new marijuana licensing board

Two Boston entrepreneurs’ plans to open the state’s third independent testing laboratory to check the safety of cannabis products — including vape cartridges — are being slow-walked as the city works to roll out a brand new marijuana licensing board amid an already slow-moving pot industry. “There is a dire need for marijuana testing and that’s where we are putting 99 percent of our attention … but we need to make sure we don’t get bogged down in the politics,” said Dimitri Pelekoudas, CEO of Assured Testing Laboratories. Pelekoudas and his partner Kris Nykbakken want to open a lab at 43 Freeport St. in Dorchester that would test the safety of marijuana flower, products and concentrates that can contain dangerous solvents and chemicals. State law requires all legally sold marijuana product...

Pro-pot Christian sect boards Trump train

Rev. Anne Armstrong is as surprised as anyone that she’s ended up at a Trump rally, but the clergywoman from the small pro-pot Christian sect is just rolling with it. “We wanted to thank the president — he’s been so great in protecting our religious freedoms,” said Armstrong, who attended Monday’s Trump rally with Rev. Alan Gordon, both in smocks featuring a large image of the Virgin Mary and each wielding a large ram’s horn. Armstrong, fixing the pot-leaf bandanna on her head, noted that she was wearing a Wonder Woman costume underneath her smock, and said The Healing Church of Rhode Island has gotten in trouble with the law before over pot. The small church has made headlines in the past when members insisted that marijuana is a “holy herb” featured in various old religious practices. Re...

Man busted for edible marijuana with Cookie Crisp cereal logo: Police

Published: Feb 6, 2020, 8:04 pm • Updated: Feb 6, 2020, 8:05 pm By Rick Sobey A man driving in Boston is accused of carrying several large bags of weed, along with dozens of edible marijuana packets that have the Cookie Crisp cereal logo, according to police. Daniel Keegan, 20, of Weymouth, was arrested on drug-related charges after a traffic stop in downtown Boston Wednesday night, police said. Officers at around 8 p.m. stopped Keegan’s car for an equipment violation in the area of 85 Bedford St. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

NY man charged after cops find over 360 pounds of alleged pot in traffic stop

Published: Feb 6, 2020, 1:33 pm • Updated: Feb 6, 2020, 1:35 pm By Marie Szaniszlo A New York man was arrested Wednesday night during a traffic stop in Sturbridge, where more than 360 pounds of marijuana were found in the minivan he was driving, State Police said. Trooper Michael Barrera was on patrol shortly after 8:30 p.m.in the area of Exit 3A on Interstate 84 when he saw a 2017 Toyota Sienna minivan merge onto the off-ramp at a clocked speed of 50 mph – 20 mph over the ramp’s speed limit, police said. Barrera activated his cruiser’s lights and stopped the minivan on Route 20 East, police said. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Vapes on black market may contain toxic chemicals, pesticides, harmful flavorings

Ingredients lurking inside marijuana and nicotine black-market vapes can transform into dangerous, toxic chemicals when heated and inhaled, with the worst impacts of vaping still unknown, according to experts. “We see in black market products, horrible pesticide contamination,” said Dr. Chris Hudalla, founder and chief science officer at Proverde Labs in Milford, which tests marijuana and hemp-based vapes along with some nicotine vapes for the legal, regulated market. Black market marijuana vapes are being eyed as a likely culprit in the vape health crisis that has seen more than 2,600 hospitalizations nationwide and at least 60 deaths, including, locally, at least 73 suspected vape injury cases and four deaths in Massachusetts. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Pot shops warned to watch out for ‘smurfs’ and ‘loopers’

Published: Feb 3, 2020, 1:36 pm • Updated: Feb 3, 2020, 1:38 pm By Marie Szaniszlo Pot regulators are vowing to crack down on “loopers” and “smurfs” — slang for people who make make multiple purchases of weed products in one day at one store or many. The state Cannabis Control Commission and state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said they are looking to create a task force to find ways to blunt the illegal activity. A multi-agency illicit pot squad would clamp down on, among other things, people who go from dispensary to dispensary buying the maximum allowable amount of pot, with the intent of selling it illegally. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Not your average smurf

To the average person, the word “smurf” likely conjures up images of a fictional colony of small, blue, human-like creatures who live in mushrooom-shaped houses in the forest. But in the marijuana black market and beyond, the word — and variations of it — have far different connotations than the series of characters created in 1958 by the Belgian comics artist Peyo and popularized in the U.S. in the 1980s. Urbandictionary.com defines a cannasmurf, for example, as “a person who is a member of several medical cannabis dispensaries and who obtains the maximum allowable quantity of cannabis from these clubs in order to obtain a sizable amount of cannabis for personal or commercial reasons.” Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

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