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Sensi Magazine October 2018 - Boston Digital Edition

Oct 01, 2018 05:12AM ● By Amber Orvik
OCTOBER RISING

The last month has provided enough ups and downs in the local and national cannabis news front to keep even the most voracious info junkie breathless. Unless you’re a savage maniac living inside the news and social matrix all day every day like me—something I don’t recommend for well-adjusted adults in these weird times—it feels right to kick off the October issue with field notes from the ether. 

Last month, Manhattan’s DA dropped more than 3,000 NYC open marijuana smoking and possession cases—some stretching back to the Carter Administration—to right some of the wrongs regarding racial disparities over decades in the failed drug war. Nice. 

A cannabis bill was approved by a U.S. House panel overseeing federal drug enforcement efforts to require the Department of Justice to start issuing licenses for cultivation and research at the federal level. However, a nasty little provision preventing anyone with “a conviction of a felony or a drug-related misdemeanor” from inclusion in said cultivation and research made it in there to the chagrin of activists, and for good reason. Have a non-violent, low level good-old-days weed pinch on your record for spreading the medicine? Tough luck says the bill, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the weathered opponent of weed reform who reportedly wouldn’t budge on a compromise that would have lifted those restrictions. Nice work, Bob. 

Locally, Cannabis Control Commissioner (CCC) Steve Hoffmann told WGBH there are almost a dozen provisional licenses for retail operations in the state in the pipeline as of early September, and he was hoping the final inspections for full licensing would happen by the time you’re reading this. 

The Massachusetts Growers Advocacy Council has gotten some spotlight after threats of bringing the CCC to court. After the commission bent to pressure from lawyers for municipalities and voted 4-1 in opposition to reviewing the byzantine Host Community Agreements, community activists and even commissioner Shaleen Title voiced concerns of the dangerous precedent being set when all the work to date on structuring the industry to be fair and equitable for all, not just the most well financed and connected, is already being stomped on before the first shop has even opened for business. 

Once that business gets going though...man. Wall Street analysts are predicting a $47 billion-dollar US cannabis market. Thumbs up. Another one: GFA Credit Union of MA announced it will be the first to offer banking solutions to recreational cannabis businesses after a year of research and prep. And a report published in September analyzing data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows US adults over the age of 50 are consuming at increasing rates signaling, like Massachusetts, the American public has decided the useless war on drugs (as far as cannabis is concerned) had long since reached the point of diminishing returns. 

In short, your sweet Aunt Ethel has never been more chill. Happy October 

Dan McCarthy // MANAGING EDITOR // SENSI BOSTON 

Click on the image below to read the OCTOBER 2018 issue of Sensi Magazine — Boston Edition