MARIJUANA

From legislation to legalization follow the local impacts of the cannabis industry.

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

A marijuana industry spokesman is criticizing some cities and towns after Massachusetts regulators acknowledged that retail pot shops won't be open on July 1, as originally expected.

How Mass. Plans To Create Equity In Its Marijuana Industry

Jun 27, 2018

The state Cannabis Control Commission has unveiled a social equity program intended to help people who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs work in the new legal marijuana industry.

The equity program — the first statewide program of its kind in the country — will give people training and guidance.

So how does this work? Who qualifies? Here’s what to know about Massachusetts’ plans to create equity in the recreational marijuana industry:

What’s the goal of the social equity program?

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive / masslive.com/photos

There will be no legal recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts on July 1. And though regulators expect to approve business licenses next week, there can be no legal retail sales until an independent testing laboratory applies and is licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission.

It’s not clear when you’ll be able to walk into a store and buy recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, but the where will likely be one of the state’s existing medical marijuana dispensaries.

And that means dispensaries will operate two systems — recreational and medical — under one roof.

Revelers at a Dead & Company show in Hartford, Connecticut, in June 2018.
Karen Brown / New England Public Radio

Recently, I decided to revisit my youth and go to a Dead show.

For the uninitiated, Dead & Company includes a few original members of the iconic '60s band The Grateful Dead, plus a few other musicians.

Specimen bottles are collected for packaging for drug testing Jan. 7, 2014, at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas.
U.S. Air Force

Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana at the ballot box in 2016, and retail sales are poised to begin on or about July 1. But there still isn't much guidance coming from state officials about how businesses should deal with drug testing their employees when it comes to pot.

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

Many adults in Massachusetts supported the legalization of recreational marijuana. And it seems delayed.

A train sitting on the platform at Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Massachusetts transportation officials this week announced funding for more north/south rail service in the Pioneer Valley, and for a long-awaited study examining trains between Boston and western Massachusetts. 

A sales associate at New England Treatment Access in Brookline, a medical dispensary, places medicinal marijuana into a container.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Prospects for retail pot shops opening for business in Massachusetts by a July 1 target date appear to be dimming. 

A train sitting on the platform at Union Station in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Starting next weekend, and continuing into next week, rail service will double on a daily basis between Springfield, Hartford and New Haven. We talk about that news and more in this week's panel.

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