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Title (a co-author of

Title (a co-author of the legalization initiative that’s since been named to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC)), Shanel Lindsay, Sonia Espinosa, Joseph Gilmour, and Kamani Jefferson—were plugged directly into the conversation, the communities they represent were heard at public hearings and beyond. Furthermore, veterans like Mandile and the others, representing other marginalized communities through the newly founded Massachusetts Cannabis Consumers Council, became a critical source of information for media and lawmakers alike. In September, the town of Milford voted to ban rec cannabis shops, becoming the first to do so under the new law. Other municipalities followed to different degrees, while voters in some places—Salem, Amesbury, and Newbury—said no to bans and yes to moving forward on shops. In Amesbury, a local native of the city, Scott Winters, led a coalition to a landslide victory over the ban. In October, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson made cannabis policy an issue in his losing bid for mayor against incumbent Martin Walsh. Later that month, New England Treatment Access, a registered medical dispensary in Massachusetts, stepped in it by submitting a memo, through law firm Foley Hoag, to the state’s newly formed CCC advocating to give registered medical dispensaries a head start on recreational licensing, and to put co-ops and craft cannabis programs on the back burner. The community wanted none of that and came out in droves to testify that coops and inclusion programs should become a priority. In December, the CCC held public hearings to decide priorities and to create draft regulations for the industry. Title, who seemed to be leading the way with positive news, reported on social media: Just presented proposed regulations licensing cannabis cafes and businesses (yoga studios, movie theaters, etc) that allow cannabis use. Passed unanimously.Presenting statewide equity program tomorrow…. The following day, measures were voted down, 4-to-1, that would have advanced programs that can create equity for populations that have been harmed by prohibition. Specifically, there will be no bring your own cannabis licensing, single-day consumption licenses, or delivery-only licenses. One step forward, two steps back. MRCC, meanwhile, has created a petition to ask the CCC to reconsider its decision. On the personal side, a major loss was the death of activist/entrepreneur Mickey Martin on June 20. Martin helped open the now-shuttered Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, while the nonprofit that he also helped found, Parents 4 Pot, is currently gathering funds and presents for children of parents jailed for cannabis offenses (the struggle doesn’t end just because Christmas is over). And in more bad news to end December on, last week it was reported that the two co-founders of Mass Genetics, local legends and High Times Cannabis Cup winners, were raided by the DEA and are being charged in federal court. What a year for legal weed it’s been. J37

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