Massachusetts Lawmakers ban flavored tobacco and vaping products

After months of grappling with how best to address the health costs of vaping, Massachusetts lawmakers have opted to ban the sweet (and minty) stuff. On Thursday, members of the state’s House of Representatives voted to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products. The vote was handed down shortly before the members of Congress broke for the holidays. 

And that’s not all. The vaping products that remain legal will be subject to a whopping 75 excise tax. 


Boston overhauling pot review process to close race gap

Boston is overhauling its process of reviewing marijuana businesses to boost involvement of minority entrepreneurs in Massachusetts’ burgeoning pot industry.

The City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance calling for the creation of an independent Cannabis Board to oversee local review of prospective marijuana businesses.

The proposal by Councilor Kim Janey also requires Boston to ensure that at least half of its marijuana licenses go to companies from communities affected by the war on drugs.

And it creates Massachusetts’ first local fund supporting minority-owned marijuana companies, according to Janey and other city officials.


Here’s how much money people in Massachusetts spent on (legal) marijuana in the first year of sales

Exactly one year ago, people in Massachusetts spent more than $440,000 at the state’s first two recreational marijuana on their opening day of sales.

And since then, the total amount has only continued to soar.


How Mass. cannabis inspectors keep a watchful eye over the legal pot industry

Nearly one year since the first legal, adult-use cannabis sale was made, there are now 33 retail stores open around Massachusetts.

So far, state regulators have issued 227 provisional and final licenses to retail, cultivation, cannabis manufacturing facilities and independent testing laboratories. Before — and even after — licenses are issued, those facilities must be inspected by the state.

'Keeps Everyone On Their Toes'

On a Tuesday morning in October, two CCC inspectors pull up to the Sira Naturals Cultivation and Manufacturing facility in a pair of gray, unmarked crossover SUVs. The only giveaway? The vehicles have official state license plates.


21 medical marijuana facilities approved in Grand Rapids so far

Grand Rapids officials have approved plans for 21 medical marijuana facilities in the city so far with about two dozen more awaiting review.

The latest approvals in recent weeks were all from the same company, Green Skies-Healing Tree LLC.

The Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday, Nov. 14, unanimously approved Green Skies’ application for a dispensary at 715 Michigan St. NE, about half a mile east of the Medical Mile.

Two weeks before, planning commissioners approved Green Skies’ plans for dispensaries at 2301 44th St. SE, near Breton Road, and 4162 Eastern Ave. SE, near 44th Street.


Yale pioneers medical marijuana trials

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a medical marijuana clinical trial led by the Yale University School of Medicine. Researchers say it’s the first of its type to be run on human subjects.

Cori Alicea has been using medical marijuana since she was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in 2014.

“It helps me with every physical ability that I have, with talking and doing everything. My right side was completely numb after having my seizures and my surgeries from the craniotomies. This medicine has made it so that I am able to live my daily life.”


Most marijuana vape products quarantined by Mass. Health Officials

A quarantine was ordered for most marijuana vaping products in Massachusetts Tuesday, extending the state's efforts to control vaping products amid a nationwide epidemic of lung injuries.

Exempt from the quarantine are medical marijuana products designed specifically for devices for medical marijuana flower vaping, the state Cannabis Control Commission said. Massachusetts' ban on vape-related products for medical marijuana users was lifted as the quarantine went into effect.


Medical marijuana patients will be able to purchase cannabis vaping products on Tuesday

Massachusetts medical marajuana cardholders will be able to purchase cannabis vape products again on Tuesday after the state’s Cannabis Control Commission refused to extend Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s controversial four-month vaping ban to vaping products used by cardholders.

This CCC decided not to uphold Baker’s ban after Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled Baker’s Department of Public Health did not have the authority to regulate cannabis products used by medical marijuana patients, according to the ruling.


Law keeps medical marijuana out of vets’ reach

Imagine living in fear of doing something that’s perfectly legal in Massachusetts.

This is the maddening “Catch-22” that our veterans face when they purchase cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary to treat conditions like PTSD and chronic pain issues.

Our servicemen and women are looking over their shoulders, worried that they’ll lose their jobs, security clearances, GI Bill loan benefits, disability payments, Second Amendment rights and access to other medications if they publicly disclose their legal use of cannabis.

That’s because under federal law, which the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is obligated to follow, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule One Controlled Substance — an illegal drug.


Medical marijuana patients can buy vape products in Mass. again, starting Tuesday

Medical marijuana users are on track to regain access to vaping products starting next week after the Cannabis Control Commission did not uphold the Baker administration's ban, though that permission could be short-lived amid ongoing legal challenges and potential future regulations from the commission.


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