REGIONAL NEWS

A rainbow flag, the symbol of LGBT rights, flapping in the wind.
Ludovic Bertron / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/23912576@N05/2942525739

The Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 137 to 14 to ban the use of so-called conversion therapy to change the sexual orientation and gender identity of minors, going on record against a practice one lawmaker compared to torture.

Andrea Lawlor.
Rescue Press

In Andrea Lawlor’s debut novel, "Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl," readers join the main character on a journey stretching from Provincetown to San Francisco.  

The Massachusetts State Police General Headquarters.
Jacqueline Tempera / MassLive / masslive.com/photos

Current and former Massachusetts State Police officials under scrutiny internally for payroll discrepancies are now within the sights of federal prosecutors. On Wednesday, they announced charges against two troopers, one of whom is retired, and a former lieutenant.

The U.S. Supreme Court.
MattWade / Creative Commons / commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:MattWade

In a major freedom of speech decision on Wednesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector labor unions, ruling that public employees cannot be forced to pay fees or dues to a union to which he or she does not belong.

At a 2017 press conference, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz points out the prototype for the bike share program.
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

A regional bike share system is set to launch this week. It'll eventually include 500 bikes across five western Massachusetts communities: Northampton, Springfield, South Hadley, Holyoke and Amherst – including UMass.

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.

The campus of UMass Amherst.
File photo / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

The University of of Massachusetts has settled a lawsuit over a decades-old policy on the Amherst campus that a student group said limited its free speech.

The Shutesbury Fire Department building in Shutesbury, Massachusetts.
Luis Fieldman / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Town officials in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, are meeting Tuesday to discuss the contract for the fire chief after he said he'd quit, and the volunteer firefighters who work with him said they'd do the same.

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.

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