Pot shop openings gaining steam

More than two years after voters decided to legalize non-medical cannabis, Massachusetts granted New England Treatment Access in Brookline a recreational marijuana license on Thursday. The business will be the first recreational pot shop that will be open to buyers in the Greater Boston area, and police are expecting mayhem when the store opens up in a few weeks.

Despite the pending sale of NETA to Georgia-owned Surterra Wellness, NETA was able to acquire the license after some back and forth between the commission’s chairman, Steven Hoffman, and Commissioner Shaleen Title, who abstained on the vote. One of the first adult-use cannabis sales in the Commonwealth was made to Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz just four months ago at the NETA business that opened there.

Massachusetts already has 10 shops open to recreational consumers, with the newest, Sanctuary, opening up in Gardner on Wednesday. The business had already opened up as a medical cannabis dispensary in November.

Caroline’s Cannabis, owned by Caroline Frankel, is about to open in Uxbridge. Frankel appeared on a Codcast called “Women of pot” back in October.

Silver Therapeutics in Williamstown also got the OK by the Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday, making it the first North Berkshire retailer scheduled to open. Chief financial officer Brendan McKee told the Berkshire Eagle that Silver Therapeutics is likely to open within the next 30 days. “Everyone is excited,” McKee said. “They want us to be open.”

Brockton-based In Good Health, which sells medical marijuana, is seeking to open a recreational store in the city, but in the meantime is selling its line of products to the 10 stores that are already open out of its 56,000-square-foot grow facility.

State law allows retail shops to sell no more than an ounce of flower or 20 servings of edibles to each customer.

SARAH BETANCOURT

 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Lynn unveils a waterfront open space plan (Daily Item)

Following a US Department of Labor lawsuit alleging that Boston police coordinated with the CEO of Tara Construction on an immigration arrest, Mayor Marty Walsh said he wants to ensure the investigations into undocumented immigrants involve only serious crimes. (WBUR)

The Hopkinton Police Department is including local businesses in a voluntary registry of commercially owned security cameras that could be helpful in the event of a crime, and the police might expand the program to include residential cameras in high-traffic areas. (WGBH)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Critics lashed out at the 47-month sentence given to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, far below the 24-year sentence he could have received, with one lawyer saying Manafort is likely to do less time a client he has who was charged with stealing $100 of quarters from a laundry room. (Washington Post)

New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrestles with the controversy surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar, concluding “Omar said things that are offensive and that she’s the victim of a double standard,” citing the pass given to President Trump and his allies for comments fomenting or condoning anti-semitism.

Over the last eight years, the Internal Revenue Service has slowly seen its staff whittled away, sapping the agency of talent that would have brought in roughly $18 billion a year. (ProPublica)

Conservative columnist David Brooks says he has come around to the case for black reparations. (New York Times)

The woman who founded the Florida spa where Robert Kraft is alleged to have paid prostitutes for sex attended President Trump’s Super Bowl viewing party where guests watched Kraft’s team capture another NFL championship. (Miami Herald)

ELECTIONS

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who has made a name by taking on various industries on behalf of low-wage workers being classified as independent contractors rather than employees, says she’s weighing a Democratic primary run next year against Sen. Ed Markey. (Boston Globe)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Black graduate students gathered in Boston recently to ponder what would convince them to stay on after they graduate. (CommonWealth)

EDUCATION

The town of Dennis and the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District have officially denied claims made in lawsuit brought against them by the town of Yarmouth over the method used to approve a new $117 million middle school. (Cape Cod Times)

A group of Hampshire College faculty, with backing from two former president of the Amherst school, is floating a proposal to revamp the school to face tough fiscal realities, but remain an independent institution and not seek a partnership or merger as the current college administration has proposed. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Mayor Marty Walsh says he’s not satisfied with the progress of the Boston Public Schools. (Boston Herald)

Boston’s search for a school superintendent to replace Tommy Chang has lacked the type of transparency that people want, according to Paul Reville, who was education secretary in the Patrick administration. (WGBH)

High schools on the South Shore are eliminating ranking systems based on academic performance that typically get top students into prestigious colleges. (Patriot Ledger)

ARTS/CULTURE

Brian Kennedy, the director of the Toledo Museum of Art, has been named the new executive director of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. (Boston Globe)

Dr. Steven Schlozman, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, is delighted that CVS is  changing the music callers hear when they are on hold, which Schlozman has spent nearly a solid month of life listening to. (WBUR)

TRANSPORTATION

James Aloisi of TransitMatters has a game plan for starting to deal with Greater Boston’s congestion. (CommonWealth)

Connecticut’s proposed toll system, like the one in Massachusetts, charges out-of-state drivers more than in-state drivers, (MassLive)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Mayor Jasiel Correia II says Fall River may soon have a new waste transfer station after recently partnering with a Rhode Island-based company River Environmental Solutions LLC to build one at the site of the city’s old incinerator. (Herald News)

Congressman Seth Moulton asked his colleagues to support bipartisan legislation funding research into the plight of the right whales, which were once hunted from Massachusetts ports and are now at risk of extinction. (Gloucester Daily Times)

Mark Kempic, the incoming president of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, and Kirk Cresto, the company’s vice president of Merrimack Valley operations, will hold three open house meetings in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover to talk about upcoming actions. (Eagle-Tribune)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

The Globe talks to Anthony Watson, the 32-year-old black man whose beating and arrest at the hands of a Transit Police officer now has the officer who arrested him and two supervisors who are alleged to have covered up the beating facing criminal charges.

The Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates overwhelmingly approved a resolution Wednesday that “strongly condemns any form of hate speech,” especially from county employees. (Cape Cod Times)

Brian Schwarztrauber, a 54-year-old Cambridge man was taken into protective custody and will face charges after he allegedly showed up smelling of alcohol to a gun show in Wilmington on Saturday and purchased ammunition after allegedly saying something about going on a shooting spree. (Lowell Sun)

MEDIA

Juana Matias, the former representative from Lawrence,  is named chief operating officer of the public policy think tank MassINC, the corporate parent of CommonWealth. (Eagle-Tribune)

DigBoston editor Chris Faraone takes some digs at what he describes as a tone-deaf event on gun control being held by WBUR and featuring Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, gun violence activists, and a Boston Globe reporter.