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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.

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.

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 ...

Golden Gloves final sold out for Mike Tyson visit

Published: Mar 10, 2022, 11:54 am • Updated: Mar 10, 2022, 11:55 am By Barry Scanlon LOWELL — The news landed like a thunderous Mike Tyson right hook. Tyson, the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history, is coming to Lowell. Word of Tyson’s visit to the city prompted a box office knockout: Tickets for the final night of the 75th annual Golden Gloves on Thursday are gone. A few standing room only tickets were available late Wednesday afternoon, but there won’t be any empty seats at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium when he’s introduced to the sellout crowd. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Ticker: Pot taxes outpace booze in Massachusetts; Weber Grills apologizes for ill-timed meatloaf recipe

Excise taxes for marijuana sold for adult recreational use exceeded alcohol excise taxes for the first time in Massachusetts, reflecting growing marijuana sales that reached $2.54 billion, according to the Cannabis Control Commission. Massachusetts collected $74.2 million in marijuana excise tax through December 2021 — halfway through the fiscal year — compared to $51.3 million in alcohol excise taxes, WCVB-TV reported. The excise tax of 10.75% on recreational cannabis is part of the total tax revenue. There is also a 6.25% state sales tax, plus a local tax of up to 3%. It all added up to $208 million in total tax revenue last fiscal year. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Police, driving groups back Baker bill to crack down on drugged driving

With substances like marijuana increasingly playing a role in impaired driving crashes, a string of law enforcement officials and their allies on Tuesday urged lawmakers to expand the tools available to rein in drugged motorists. Police can currently charge drivers with operating under the influence of drugs, but supporters of a bill filed by Gov. Charlie Baker say existing state law makes enforcement more difficult than in cases involving alcohol, where Breathalyzers and other tools are common. “We are seeing more and more victim cases come through our office where crashes have involved marijuana and other drugs,” Mary Kate DePamphilis, director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Massachusetts, told the Judiciary Committee. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Charlie Baker again pushes stoned driving bill with drugged driving causalities on the rise

Gov. Charlie Baker, frustrated by lawmakers’ inaction more than five years after the legalization of recreational pot, is making a second attempt to cut down on stoned driving. The post Charlie Baker again pushes stoned driving bill with drugged driving causalities on the rise 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.

Pot regulators launching online catalog of marijuana products

The Cannabis Control Commission is launching an online catalog of the myriad marijuana products available at the state’s pot shops and dispensaries to help cops, parents and regulators alike tell the difference between what’s legal, and what’s not. The first-in-the-nation regulators’ catalog won’t exactly compete with Leafly and Weedmaps — so don’t expect genetic information or flavor profiles. Instead, the idea is to compile basic information and photos in one place so that police, regulators, consumers, and parents can get a better sense of the type of products that are part of the still-young legal cannabis world, and can tell the difference between what’s legal and what’s not. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

New York legalizes pot

New York adults over the age of 21 can now possess and use marijuana — even in public — under a legalization bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though legal sales of recreational-use cannabis won’t start for an estimated 18 months until regulations are set. Passed after several years of stalled efforts, the measure makes New York the 16th state to legalize adult use of the drug, though South Dakota’s measure is in legal limbo. New York becomes the second-most populous state, after California, to legalize recreational marijuana. Legalization backers hope the Empire State will add momentum and set an example with its efforts to redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates. Read the rest of this story on Boston...