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Massachusetts

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.

1st retail pot shop on Cape Cod opens in Provincetown

Published: Feb 3, 2020, 1:34 pm • Updated: Feb 3, 2020, 1:35 pm By Associated Press PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (AP) — Cape Cod has its first legal pot shop. Curaleaf opened a recreational marijuana store in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Wednesday after town officials granted the Wakefield-based company local approval. The store is located along the famous resort town’s bustling downtown of shops, restaurants and bars. The company says it expects to employ about 30 people. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Pot ‘smurfs’ and ‘loopers’ playing with fire, feds warn

Weed “smurfs” and “loopers” are being warned any attempt to stock up on pot products to sell on the black market could spark the interest of federal agents. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling and the Drug Enforcement Administration both vowed on Wednesday to continue to crack down on weed violations, including “smurfing” — buying the maximum allowable amount of marijuana from multiple dispensaries for the purpose of selling it illegally, often across state lines. “As I have said in the past, the U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to pursue marijuana enforcement and will review potential matters on a case-by-case basis,” Lelling said in a statement. “We continue to police interstate transportation of marijuana along with incoming or outgoing shipments of cash and use of the federal banking system.”...

RAND: Curtailing illicit pot market will take ‘years’

Published: Feb 3, 2020, 1:28 pm • Updated: Feb 3, 2020, 1:29 pm By Marie Szaniszlo It will likely take years for Massachusetts to put a dent in the illicit marijuana market, according to a researcher who found that to be the case in Washington state. Three years after state-licensed cannabis stores in Washington opened in July 2014, roughly half of the recreational and medical marijuana consumed by residents was still coming from the illicit market, said Beau Kilmer, director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. “You’re not going to eliminate the illicit market overnight,” Kilmer said. “It’s going to take years.” Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.