Legal marijuana

Pot panel looks to let ex-cons in

Pot panel looks to let ex-cons in

Lawmakers open to allowing nonviolent drug offenders sell and grow legal marijuana

THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE shaping the state’s new marijuana law wrapped up its final session of hearings Monday with an impassioned plea from a convicted drug felon to change the laws to allow him to grow and distribute marijuana to legal sellers. “What I did was a mistake,” said Sean Berte of Boston, who said he(...)

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Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Holyoke’s mayor isn’t afraid of pot

Alex Morse sees potential for urban farming in his old city’s mills

Photographs by Mark Morelli  OUTSIDE HOLYOKE CITY HALL is a stone fountain that once gurgled with water, offering a more wholesome substitute for alcohol to “a thirsty humanity,” as the inscription reads. Erected in 1901, the monument was one of several put up by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union around the country as part of(...)

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The Codcast: Goldberg wants to keep her sight on pot

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg says when she talks to counterparts around the country, there is one aspect of her job that stops them in their tracks: Her office’s regulation of the state’s liquor industry. Goldberg now has another mood-altering substance to oversee with the passage of the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. Under the(...)

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Communities seek change on pot opt-out

Communities seek change on pot opt-out

Officials want clearer path to outlaw retail marijuana

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE UNCERTAINTY OVER THE PROCESS cities and towns must follow to opt out of the sprouting legal marijuana market has sparked confusion across the state and needs to be clarified by the Legislature, the attorney general’s office and a municipal lobby said Monday. Cities and towns are urging lawmakers to let them(...)

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It’s marijuana time

The suddenly chummy House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg issued a one paragraph joint statement on Monday saying they weren’t going to delay the effective date of the voter-approved law legalizing recreational marijuana. “The voters spoke in favor of legalized recreational marijuana on Nov. 8 and we fully intend to respect the(...)

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Banking on the pot industry

Banking on the pot industry

Conflicts with state laws and federal regulations create anxiety for most banks

AT LEAST ONE Massachusetts bank is offering services to the nascent legal marijuana industry in the state despite uncertainty over federal drug and banking regulations that still classify all pot sales as money-laundering, making it a risky venture both for the businesses and financial institutions. According to marijuana and banking industry officials, family-owned Century Bank(...)

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Baker seeks changes in pot law

Baker seeks changes in pot law

State Treasurer Goldberg says no rush to implement regs

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE AFTER MASSACHUSETTS VOTERS just said yes to legalizing marijuana Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker, an outspoken opponent of the referendum, said he wants a more efficient process of permitting retail pot shops than the extensive procedures the state engaged in to implement medical marijuana. “By the time we took office we hadn’t(...)

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Pot proponents hit critics on ‘scare tactics’

Pot proponents hit critics on ‘scare tactics’

Say officials are spreading falsehoods to defeat legalization measure

A LAWYER WHO helped draft the initiative to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana said critics of the referendum are using decades-old scare tactics to defeat the proposal and twisting proponents’ words to convince voters there’s a heartless pot industry that only wants to cash in at the expense of kids. “This whole idea that(...)

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Outsider’s perspective on pot legalization

When you’re struggling with a decision, sometimes it’s helpful to get an outsider’s perspective. The CBS news magazine 60 Minutes on Sunday reported on marijuana legalization, which is on the ballot this year in California, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona, and Nevada. If legalization passes in all five states, nearly a quarter of the nation’s residents will(...)

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Pot opponents mislead on costs, local aid threat

Pot opponents mislead on costs, local aid threat

Referendum critics falsely claim Colorado revenues fail to cover regulation expenses

LT. GOV. KARYN POLITO suggested earlier this week that passage of the ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana could lead to a reduction in local aid to pay for regulating the new industry and public safety costs, but there is little evidence to support her claim. At a meeting of the Local Government Advisory Commission on Tuesday,(...)

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