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Massachusetts Senate passes sweeping pot reform bill

The state Senate passed a sweeping cannabis bill that aims to clarify some terms of a ballot initiative first passed by voters in 2016, while promoting equity in the industry. “Unfortunately, many barriers continue to prevent those historically harmed by marijuana prohibition from entering the industry,” said Senate President Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, adding that “guardrails” are now in place for the “Host Community Agreement process.” The bill, championed in part by state senator and gubernatorial candidate Sonia Chang-Díaz, would make several updates to the state’s existing cannabis laws, including a first-in-the-nation social equity program for cannabis entrepreneurs. Currently, only about 7% of cannabis businesses are considered “social equity” businesses, according to the Senate. Read ...

Bills filed in state House, Senate would legalize medical marijuana insurance coverage

Medical marijuana, used to treat everything from chronic pain to Parkinson’s Disease to PTSD, is still not covered by medical insurance, a cost some say is prohibitively expensive to patients who rely on the drug. The post Bills filed in state House, Senate would legalize medical marijuana insurance coverage appeared first on The Cannabist.

Massachusetts farmers ‘sidelined’ at Worcester dispensary’s farmer’s market say industry equity programs need work

Farmers who say they have been boxed out of the lucrative cannabis industry due to the high costs of entry were confronted by police as they protested a so-called “Cannabis Farmers Market” event at a Worcester dispensary over the weekend. “Farmers aren’t even getting in the parking lot, let alone sitting at the table,” Westport farmer Averyl Andrade said. Andrade and her husband picketed a so-called “Cannabis Farmer’s Market” event at Worcester pot shop Resinate alongside a mother-daughter farming duo Ominique Garner and Goldie Piff of A.V. Rose Farms in Rochester and about a dozen advocates fed up with the barriers barring them from getting into the businesses. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Justin Bieber-branded bud comes to Bay State

If you’ve ever heard Justin Bieber’s song “Peaches,” you know he gets his peaches out in Georgia, and his weed from California. Now, Bay Staters can get Bieber-branded Peaches marijuana in Massachusetts, courtesy of California marijuana brand Palms pre-rolls. “I’m a fan of Palms and what they are doing by making cannabis approachable and helping to destigmatize it – especially for the many people who find it helpful for their mental health,” the pop singer said in a statement. “I wanted to make sure that I was doing something with them that felt genuine, and Peaches felt like a good place to start.” Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Boston pot supermarket given green light, may open this week

Published: Apr 26, 2021, 6:37 pm • Updated: Apr 26, 2021, 6:39 pm By Meghan Ottolini, Joe Dwinell One of the country’s biggest legal marijuana companies is ready to open a pot supermarket in downtown Boston — possibly as soon as later this week, the Herald has learned. Ascend is preparing a “soft opening” with a target date of Thursday for a 16,000-square-foot dispensary on Friend Street across from North Station and TD Garden. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has backed the shop. It will be the city’s biggest dispensary and wary West End neighbors say they’ll be keeping an eye on how it all rolls out. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Cannabis industry says access to banking services ‘can’t happen soon enough’

Cannabis industry insiders say a push by federal lawmakers to allow banks to provide services to pot shops in states where they are legal “can’t happen soon enough.” “Access to banking and capital is probably the largest barrier of entry for getting into this industry,” said David Torrisi, president of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association. As a haze of marijuana legalization has spread across the nation, banks have generally been unwilling to do business with companies that sell marijuana or related products, which are still illegal under federal law. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Pot delivery in Massachusetts offers wiggle room for owners, community

Published: Dec 1, 2020, 6:51 am • Updated: Dec 1, 2020, 6:52 am By Boston Herald Editorial Staff When selling marijuana became a legitimate business in Massachusetts, it was seen as a welcome opportunity for entrepreneurs. But any industry needs to innovate and adapt if wants to grow, and the marijuana enterprise is no different. On Monday, the Cannabis Control Commission gave the high sign to new regulations that will allow for home delivery businesses. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Massachusetts cannabis retailers vow to fight marijuana delivery regulations poised for passage Monday

Massachusetts cannabis retailers have vowed a fight over controversial new marijuana delivery rules that regulators are expected to pass on Monday, which prioritize minority applicants and would enable courier companies to buy and sell marijuana wholesale without a brick-and-mortar business. “We’re not holding breath — it’s a done deal. Tomorrow is a mere formality at this point,” said David Torrisi, president of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association. “But we’ll be looking at legislative and legal action. Our fight does not end tomorrow.” The Cannabis Control Commission on Monday is set to vote on a set of draft regulations for recreational marijuana that include two license categories for delivery. The regulations will be a first for recreational pot, but delivery is already allowed for...

Pot shop a no-go in Quincy Market after landlord’s cease and desist

Plans for a pot shop in Quincy Market are on hold for now after the property management firm for the popular downtown tourist destination issued a cease and desist letter for the cannabis retailer, city officials confirmed. The city’s Office a Neighborhood Services canceled a community meeting for Redemption Cannabis after Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, which handles the leases for Faneuil Hall Marketplace, informed officials it intended to issue a cease and desist letter to the applicant regarding the proposed use, a spokeswoman for Mayor Martin Walsh’s office said. There’s still hope for a cannabis retailer at the site, though. Officials said if the issues between Ashkanazy and Redemption Cannabis are resolved, the marijuana retailer can try again and move forward with the community ...

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...