Brownie bites and espresso chocolate, with a kick

If you see a red raspberry hard lozenge in distinctive red and yellow packaging, it was likely sold at a NETA marijuana store and is infused with 50 mg of THC. A blueberry lemonade gummy, sold 10 at a time and featuring a distinctive cannabis leaf symbol, came legally from Patriot Care.

A new online product catalog launched by the Cannabis Control Commission provides a window into the innovative industry of adult use cannabis. Stores in Massachusetts today are selling infused espresso dark chocolate bars, watermelon chews, hazelnut truffles, mints, oatmeal cookies, and carrot cake cookies. There is a strawberry crunch bar made of cannabis, white chocolate, strawberries, and crispies. There are infused peanut butter cups and guava-flavored soft chews.

But unlike sites like Leafly and Weedmaps, meant to help hungry consumers order products, the state regulators’ site has another mission: improving public safety. It is the first marijuana product catalog of its kind in the country run by a regulatory agency, according to the commission.

“When using the Product Catalog, any visitor, such as a parent, school nurse, or public safety official, will be able to quickly distinguish whether a marijuana product is available in our legal marketplace or not,” commission executive director Shawn Collins said in a statement.

Former cannabis control commissioner Britte McBride first told CommonWealth about ongoing work on the catalog in a story published in November. She said the goal is to help police, school, and health officials track the source of products. That could help them determine if a product being used by a teenager was purchased at a legal dispensary or from an illicit source. “If products are getting into the hands of kids from regulated entities, we want to know that,” McBride said.

The catalog could also be used to quickly determine what is in a product, if someone is having a bad reaction to it. The listing includes the product name, a photo of the product and its packaging, a description, its THC and CBD content, all its ingredients, the serving size, and the company selling it.

The site could also help the Cannabis Control Commission – and the public – keep close track of what licensees are selling to make sure they are following the rules. Stores are not allowed to sell products designed to appeal to children, like edibles in the shape of a human, animal, fruit, cartoon, or sporting equipment.

Marijuana companies are required to upload the data. As of Monday, when the commission announced the catalog’s release, there were 122,000 items on the site. 

SHIRA SCHOENBERG

 

FROM COMMONWEALTH

Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey, facing her first major challenge from competitors in the race for mayor, announced she is directing city officials to review, redact, and release internal affairs records related to Patrick Rose Sr., a former police officer who has been charged with 33 counts of sexual abuse of minors. The announcement came as several of Janey’s opponents in the race for mayor pressured her to release the records, particularly the police department’s handling of a 1995 sexual abuse complaint against Rose that reportedly resulted in no charges being filed even though the department concluded it was likely he committed a crime. Rose remained on the police force and eventually rose to head the city’s largest police union. Read more.

Several members of the MBTA’s oversight board called for a major overhaul of the transit system’s fare structure, including a much more serious look at the implementation of charging customers based on how much income they earn. One member said income-based fares should be explored partly to blunt the push for doing away with fares entirely. Read more.

T notes: The MBTA is looking to buy electric train vehicles using options purchased by other transit agencies. The agency is also trying to boost staffing to restore service cuts. Read more.

Gov. Charlie Baker says half of Massachusetts adults have now received an initial COVID-19 dose. Read more.

Opinion:

On Thursday, Stephen Guerriero, a sixth-grade teacher in the Needham schools, will have a full classroom of students for the first time in 13 months. “Though I know the risk of COVID spreading in our schools is not zero, we are at a point where bringing all kids back is the right move,” he says. Read more.

 

FROM AROUND THE WEB

 

BEACON HILL

Beacon Hill budget writers may scrutinize a raft of tax breaks that have been passed over many years, including 10 totaling more than $200 million that were targeted in a recent state commissioner report. (Boston Globe) CommonWealth wrote about the commission findings last month

A Globe editorial decries the handling of the case of David Almond, the 14-year-old Fall River boy who died while his family was under Department of Children and Families oversight, and calls for urgent change to fill the “chasm” he fell through. 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS  

An assistant clerk at Mattapoisett Town Hall is convinced the building is haunted by a ghost named Abner. (Standard-Times)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is put on hold amid reports of blood clots and reduced platelet counts among some recipients. (NPR)

An antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals appears to reduce the risk of symptomatic infection with COVID-19 among those living with someone who has tested positive for the virus. (Boston Globe

A USA Today analysis finds Massachusetts ranks seventh among the states where the coronavirus is spreading the fastest per capita. 

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a 20-year-old black man during a traffic stop thought she was firing her Taser gun, the police chief in the community said. (Washington Post)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren expects the economy to come roaring back, fueled by wider vaccination and stimulus dollars. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION

The Worcester School Committee is accusing its school bus company of a breach of contract because the company provided too few drivers when students returned in person. (Telegram & Gazette)

UMass Amherst students are speaking out against a proposal to freeze in-state tuition but raises charges for out-of-state students. (Boston Herald)

The pandemic has pushed a number of South Shore mothers to run for seats on the school committee for the first time. (Patriot Ledger)

Nashoba Regional High School changes the name and mascot of its sports teams from the Chieftains to the Wolves. (Telegram & Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION

MBTA Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square stations resumed on Monday, but the cause of a derailment in that area remains under investigation and the new subway cars involved in the derailment continue to be held out of service. (State House News Service)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

A national conservation group names the Ipswich River one of the ten most endangered rivers in the country because of frequent withdrawals to use it for drinking water. (Salem News)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The fatal shooting of a 73-year-old Dorchester woman who was sitting on his porch provides a reality-check to pols and activists who say we should “defund the police,” says Herald columnist Joe Battenfeld. 

MEDIA

Is it offensive to call someone being held at a correctional facility an inmate? The Marshall Project explores the power of words.