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Ticker: Shannon O’Brien to chair pot commission; Job openings jump in July 

When the Cannabis Control Commission marks its five-year anniversary on Thursday, it will also get a new chairperson — former state Treasurer Shannon O’Brien. Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who is responsible for appointing someone with a financial background to chair the marijuana industry regulatory body, announced Tuesday that she will swear in O’Brien, who served as state treasurer from 1999 until 2003, as chair of the CCC on Thursday. “I am confident that her financial background, experience in corporate governance, executive management and business development, combined with outstanding leadership skills and an acute knowledge of the legislative process, will help the Massachusetts cannabis industry be fairly regulated, equitable and successful,” Goldberg said of O’Brien, who follows in...

Armentano: Marijuana potency warrants more education, regulation

Those offering dire warnings about the alleged dangers of so-called “highly potent pot” — and demanding that these products be recriminalized — are taking their cues from an age-old playbook. From the onset of criminal cannabis prohibition, criminalization advocates have sought to rationalize their position by greatly exaggerating the supposed strength of marijuana. In the 1930s, while lobbying for the passage of the first-ever federal ban on cannabis, Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Henry Anslinger testified to Congress that the marijuana of a century ago was so uniquely potent that it was “entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured.” In an attempt to justify the marijuana crackdown of the 1980s, former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates opined that ad...

Editorial: The kids are all right without marijuana in schools

Published: Aug 7, 2022, 12:58 am • Updated: Aug 7, 2022, 1:00 am By Boston Herald Editorial Staff The Massachusetts Legislature cares about children. Sometimes. In March, the Joint Committee on Public Health sponsored “An Act to protect youth from the health risks of sugary drinks.” Drawing on separate House and Senate bills, the push is to prohibit the marketing of sugary drinks in schools and on school grounds. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian drug trial

KHIMKI, Russia — U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and smuggling and was sentenced to nine years behind bars in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow. The 31-year-old Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and a eight-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, listened with a blank expression as an interpreter translated the verdict by Judge Anna Sotnikova, but her lawyers said later she was “very upset.” Griner also was fined 1 million rubles, about $16,700. U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the sentence as “unacceptable.” Griner’s conviction come amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

WNBA’s Brittney Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to 9 years

By JIM HEINTZ KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and smuggling and was sentenced to nine years behind bars in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow. The 31-year-old Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and a eight-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, listened with a blank expression as an interpreter translated the verdict by Judge Anna Sotnikova, but her lawyers said later she was “very upset.” Griner also was fined 1 million rubles (about $16,700). Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Boston Chinatown restaurant served up multimillion dollar money laundering operation, feds say

At least one restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown had a scandalous secret menu, according to a recent federal indictment — a multi-state money laundering operation. A federal grand jury in Boston indicted eight alleged members of the conspiracy that the feds — which investigated it under the moniker “Operation Good Fortune” — say funneled tens of millions of dollars in drug money and more in a gift card fraud scheme. “Drug trafficking and money laundering go hand in hand,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, “and this crew is accused of using their family-owned restaurant in Chinatown as a front for an elaborate, international money laundering scheme and money transmitting business in which they conducted tens of millions of dollars in off the books...

Bus diver passes out, says he didn’t know gummies snacks loaded with pot

A commercial bus driver has been charged with 38 counts of reckless endangerment after blacking out behind the steering wheel while snacking on gummies he says he didn’t know were infused with THC. Jinhuan Chen appeared Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court after being arrested at his home in Boston. Chen was driving 38 passengers from the Mohegan Sun Casino on March 13 when he stopped the bus on the side of Interstate 95 in Stratford. Police said they found Chen slumped unconscious in the driver’s seat, next to an open package of Smokies Edibles Cannabis Infused Fruit Chews. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Germany moves ahead with plan to legalize cannabis sales

BERLIN (AP) — The German government is setting in motion plans to legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes, aiming to have legislation ready later this year. The Health Ministry said Monday that it will start holding expert hearings on various aspects of the issue Tuesday. It said that more than 200 representatives from the medical, legal and other fields will take part, along with officials from various levels of government and unidentified international experts. The pledge to legalize controlled sales of cannabis to adults in licensed shops is one of a series of reforms outlined in last year’s coalition deal between the three socially liberal parties that make up Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Massachusetts lawmakers looking to strike unconstitutional Controlled Substances Act

Lawmakers are about to weed out a law that’s overgrown its usefulness. A seldom used and apparently unconstitutional part of the General Laws may soon be stricken, if an outside section of the state Senate’s fiscal 2023 budgets makes it past muster during Tuesday’s debate. “This court concluded that the assessment of the tax on essentially the same activity for which a dealer had received criminal sanctions was punishment prohibited by principles of double jeopardy,” the Supreme Judicial Court wrote in 1998, upholding a tax board’s decision to abate a dealer’s tax liability for their illegal drugs. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Ticker: ‘Borat’ drops suit over pot billboard; Ringling Bros. announces comeback tour, no animals 

Published: May 21, 2022, 12:54 am • Updated: May 21, 2022, 12:55 am By Boston Herald Wire Services Actor Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped his lawsuit against a Massachusetts cannabis dispensary that used an image of his character Borat on a billboard without his permission. A document filed in Boston federal court Tuesday said the two sides have agreed to dismiss the case brought last year by the “Borat” star. The legal filing did not mention any settlement in the case. Emails seeking comment were sent Wednesday to lawyers for Baron Cohen and the dispensary, Somerset-based Solar Therapeutics Inc. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Ticker: FDA moves to ban menthols; Senate stonewalls pot in Granite State

Published: May 3, 2022, 12:57 am • Updated: May 3, 2022, 12:58 am By Boston Herald Wire Services The feds on Thursday moved on a long-awaited plan to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, citing the toll on Black smokers and young people. “The proposed rules would help prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers and help adult smokers quit,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. The Food and Drug Administration said eliminating menthol cigarettes could prevent between 300,000 and 650,000 smoking deaths over 40 years. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

How can parents prevent children from ingesting edibles

Marijuana is legal in our state, and I want to be sure my kids don’t take any edibles. What are the best ways to prevent that? Marijuana (cannabis) is now legal for medical and recreational use in many U.S. states. That means the availability of tempting treats that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is on the rise. Unfortunately, so is the accidental THC poisoning risk these products pose to kids who get ahold of them. Marijuana can be dangerous in all forms for children and adolescents, both in the short term and the long term. That’s why it’s important for parents to understand how much THC is in edible products and how THC is absorbed in the body. Parents also need to know how to keep kids safe. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

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