MARIJUANA

As attitudes toward pain management change, some researchers say there's better evidence supporting cannabis use for chronic neuropathic pain management than opioids. Yet, for this Vermonter, an opioid prescription costs a dollar, while medical marijuana costs hundreds.

Marijuana plants.
Brett Levin flickr.com/photos/scubabrett22 / Creative Commons

Marijuana regulators in Massachusetts are trying to find a balance between getting pot stores open by next summer, and making sure all residents have a chance to get involved in the industry.

John H Gray / Creative Commons

This week on Beacon Hill, lawmakers hear from western Massachusetts residents who say the region needs to be connected to Boston and Worcester by high-speed rail. 

Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commisioners Britte McBride, left, and Kay Doyle listen to public comments at Holyoke Community College on Oct. 4, 2017.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission on Wednesday kicked off a listening tour, in Holyoke, where people advocated for everything from strict controls to lenient oversight.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

Before retail sales of marijuana begin in Massachusetts, researchers are studying the drug's current effect on public safety.

Over 10,000 people attended a counter-protest of the "Boston Free Speech" rally on the Boston Common on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
Dan Glaun / The Republican

On Saturday in Boston, tens of thousands of people gathered in a counter-protest to a planned "Free Speech" demonstration. Supporters of the conservative "Free Speech Rally" said, despite being outnumbered, their event was a success. The Free Speech keynote speaker was Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, a Republican US Senate candidate.

As we do most Mondays, we turn to State House News Service reporter Matt Murphy for the details.

Mass. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg testifying before the legislature's Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, on March 20, 2017.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

All but two of the 15 people appointed to advise marijuana regulators in Massachusetts reside in cities and towns that favored the legalization of recreational pot.

A jar of marijuana buds for sale inside the River Rock dispensary in Denver.
Steve Brown / WBUR

Massachusetts regulators are now preparing the state for retail sales of marijuana. Governor Charlie Baker last week signed a bill into law making changes to the voter-approved measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use. 

More than eight months after adult recreational use marijuana was approved by Massachusetts voters, a group of state lawmakers has reached a compromise bill making changes to the law, setting the stage for the opening of retail cannabis shops on July 1 of next year.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
Dave Roback / The Republican

It's going to be a busy week on Beacon Hill as Massachusetts lawmakers try to find common ground on some tough topics. The state's fiscal year ends Friday and there's no budget agreement yet. Also, the legislature is aiming to get a recreational marijuana law on the governor's desk this week. But big differences remain between the House and Senate bills, both of which make changes to the voter-passed marijuana law.

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