For Massachusetts city and town officials eyeing marijuana businesses, this forum seeks to demystify the new industry

With two marijuana retail shops open and more on the way, city and town officials across Massachusetts are weighing traffic concerns, crowd control and other issues they'll see if they decide to welcome the new industry.

State regulators hope those officials will get some answers at a December 18 forum in Boston. The forum is open to the public.

"I imagine that the towns or the communities that are potentially next in line are probably looking at the landscape and anticipating what they need to do in order to prepare, and I think that that's a really healthy exercise," said Britte McBride, who is spearheading the forum as a member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, the regulatory body overseeing the new marijuana industry.


Boston grapples with lack of diversity in marijuana industry

There are 27 marijuana business applicants who have reached the second step of the City of Boston's licensing process.

But only one is an equity applicant, a status given to marijuana businesses run by people involved in communities that were disproportionately affected by marijuana enforcement.

As the first marijuana stores are opening in Massachusetts, the city of Boston is still grappling with its licensing process. One priority for city officials is ensuring that the city's minority residents are not left out and are able to tap into the lucrative industry -- even if that slows down the industry's growth. 


Showing up for legal cannabis in the Bay State

In November, Massachusetts became the first state on the eastern half of the United States to open adult-use dispensaries. Cultivate Holdings in Leicester and New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton opened their doors on Nov. 20.


Medical marijuana shortage pushes officials to consider breaking their own rules

Michigan officials are proposing a solution to a shortage of medical marijuana in the newly licensed industry -- but some lawyers say it's an ironic suggestion that could land caregivers in jail.

To keep shelves stocked at licensed medical marijuana shops, state regulators are asking the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board to look the other way if the shop is buying marijuana from caregivers. Right now, licensed retail stores could be fined or lose their license for such activities.

"It's an agreement to not take licensing action for certain activities," said Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation. "It's not an authorization for anything outside of that."

The board will consider the resolution at its next meeting Dec. 7.


Despite legalization, marijuana not welcome at colleges, including Tufts

Marijuana policies at colleges across Massachusetts remain unchanged.

Marijuana is a big part of campus life, but it’s still not welcome.

Massachusetts colleges and universities, including Tufts University, prohibit marijuana on campuses across the state, despite voters approving recreational marijuana more than two years ago.

The reasons to ban it vary, but schools by and large invoke federal law and landlord status to make sure the drug, ever-popular among college students, is not allowed.

“Colleges have landlord privilege and Massachusetts law says any landlord can ban marijuana from its facilities,” explained Jim Borghesani, who worked on the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana.


Why are Instagram and Facebook shutting down these Massachusetts marijuana dispensaries’ accounts?

For months after it opened for medical marijuana sales, Cultivate used Instagram to provide updates to patients and show off new products, from new strains of flower to its cannabis-infused pumpkin spice dust.

But last week, with interest at its peak, the Leicester dispensary had its account wiped clean from the internet.

Francy Wade, a spokeswoman for Cultivate, told that Instagram shuttered their page without notice last Tuesday, Nov. 20, the first day they opened for recreational sales.


Massachusetts marijuana: Here's how much the retail stores made in five days of sales

The two Massachusetts marijuana retail stores pulled in $2.2 million in gross sales, according to data released by the state Cannabis Control Commission.

The commission released five days' worth of data, based on sales at Cultivate in Leicester and New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton, the first marijuana retail stores to open east of the Mississippi.

Customers purchased 56,380 "units" of marijuana or marijuana-related products, the commission said. The available products range from a package of edibles like a chocolate bar to measured-out marijuana and bottles of lotion.


Cannabis is legal in Massachusetts, but you can still lose your job for smoking it

Recreational cannabis sales finally launched in Massachusetts last week, but people looking to partake in the newly legalized substance should proceed with caution, writes Calvin Hughes. The state doesn't have any legislation protecting cannabis consumers from employment termination just yet. So employers can still subject workers to random drug tests and fire those who test positive for cannabis.


Here's what Massachusetts spent on the first day of legal marijuana sales

Tuesday (Nov. 20) was the first day of legalized marijuana sales in Massachusetts, and the numbers are in for how much consumers spent, The Boston Globe reports.

So far only two stores in the state have been authorized to sell recreational pot, where consumers bought more than 10,700 products on opening day, according to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. The grand total: $440,011.

Items for sale include pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes and edibles with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.


Massachusetts: New recreational marijuana stores to open 'every couple of weeks'

While hundreds braved the cold rain and snow Tuesday for the chance to legally buy marijuana, the Cannabis Control Commission was back to work processing more than a dozen additional cannabis business applications as it continues to ramp up the industry.

Though only two retail stores began selling non-medical marijuana Tuesday, the CCC has given at least initial approval to almost two dozen more retailers and expects that they will come online on a rolling basis.

The CCC marked the first legal marijuana sale with a small ceremony in its offices Tuesday morning, but by afternoon it was back to combing through license applications to put more growers and sellers in the queue.


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