Happening Today

Retail pot sales, Cannabis Commission, ‘Ask the AG’

– Today is the first day that marijuana can be legally sold at retail stores in Mass, with the opening of new pot sops in Leicester and Northampton.

— Treasurer Deborah Goldberg chairs a meeting of the State Retirement Board, One Winter St. – 8th floor, Boston, 10 a.m.

— The Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group releases its 33rd annual Trouble in Toyland survey, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, 8th Floor Playroom, 755 Washington St., Boston, 11:30 a.m.

— Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition holds its annual Thanksgiving luncheon at the State House, with Rep. Juana Matias, who is exiting the House, receiving MIRA’s Young Champion of Justice award and with Boston Globe editorial writer Marcela Garcia emceeing the event., Great Hall, 11:30 a.m.

— Attorney General Maura Healey makes her semi-regular ‘Ask the AG’ appearance on ‘Boston Public Radio,’ WGBH-FM 89.7, 12:30 p.m.

— The Cannabis Control Commission will meet and could grant final retail licenses to two additional pot retailers and provisional licenses for others, Health Policy Commission, 50 Milk St., 8th Floor, Boston, 1 p.m.

Today’s Stories

Here we go: All eyes on Massachusetts as pot sales debut

There’s no doubt that Massachusetts is making history today by becoming the first state on the East Coast to launch legal recreational marijuana sales. What remains to be seen is whether the state’s take-your-time-and-ignore-the-deadlines approach will result in a smooth rollout. 

Lines are expected to be long outside the first two stores to open in Leicester and Northampton and police are using the launch to warn drivers against getting behind the wheel after lightning up or ingesting edibles. The Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan says some buyers may be surprised to find pot stores scanning their ID cards, a practice that at least one privacy expert says raises concerns about government overreach. And WCVB reports it’s not clear how long the supply of recreational pot will last.  Zachary Comeau of the Worcester Business Journal says one of the stores, Cultivate in Leicester, is prepared to handle “thousands” of customers on Tuesday, with a shuttle bus to get customers to the store and portable toilets set up to handle the crowds. 

Mike Plaisance of MassLive reports that Northampton officials are re-routing traffic in the hopes of avoiding a mess outside the NETA store opening in that city. Meanwhile, in a sign the pot story isn’t a one-day affair, the Boston Globe says it will launch a standalone site dedicated to covering the marijuana industry. 

Will Healey ‘cap’ Markey in 2020?

This one seems almost as far-fetched as the Herald column last week that asserted Gov. Charlie Baker was mulling a race for the U.S. Senate in 2020 (a notion later shot down by a Baker aide), to wit: The Lowell Sun’s Peter Lucas reads the tea leaves about the political future of Attorney General Maura Healey and comes to the conclusion that rather than cool her heels and await the 2022 governor’s race, the Democratic firebrand might instead seek to give U.S. Sen. Ed Markey the “Capuano” primary treatment in 2020. Lucas argues Healey’s focus on national issues through her opposition to the Trump agenda makes a federal office all the more appealing. We still think she’d prefer to be governor. But who knows?

Lowell Sun

Win for Wynn: Nevada judge temporarily blocks release of Gaming Commission report

Former casino mogul Steve Wynn scored at least a temporary victory in a Nevada courtroom when a judge said he would block, for now, the release of a Massachusetts Gaming Commission report about how Wynn’s company handled sexual misconduct allegations against him.  The Globe’s Danny McDonald and Mark Arsenault report that the judge in the case will schedule a hearing in the case, all but ensuring the report remains under wraps for the foreseeable future and likely further extending the drama over how the commission will handle the resort casino license it issued to Wynn’s company when he was still at the helm. 

Boston Globe

In Amesbury and across the country, Moulton catches heat for Pelosi rebellion

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton faced his constituents at Amesbury City Hall Monday night and was met with strong blowback over his high-profile campaign to find someone—anyone, really—other than Nancy Pelosi to become House Speaker in January.  Jim Sullivan of the Salem News reports that many of the questions Moulton fielded were about the speaker battle and that several of his answers were met with a loud chorus of boos. 

Several Democratic operatives tell the Globe’s Liz Goodwin they were worried Moulton was doing damage to the election night successes of the party. And Politico’s Stephanie Murray reports organizers are already seeking a candidate to launch a primary challenge against the military veteran in 2020. 

But Moulton has support from at least one corner: Globe columnist Joan Vennochi says the lawmaker deserves credit for ‘shaking things up’ because ‘that’s what leaders do.’ Then again, Thomas P. O’Neill, the former lieutenant governor who knows a thing or two about the psychology of House speakers, writes at The Hill that Pelosi has earned the leadership post. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has a piece on Moulton and his fellow coup members, i.e., they’re mostly moderates, mostly young and mostly white males (mostly).

Salem News

Feds to take fresh look at all-cash home buys in Boston

As part of a crackdown on money laundering, the U.S. Treasury has added Suffolk and Middlesex counties to a program that requires buyers who plop down cash to purchase homes to identify themselves to the feds, Tim Logan reports at the Globe. Boston and its environs are among a dozen locales where such sales are now being scrutinized for signs of nefarious activity.

Boston Globe

Amid financial mess, Methuen council considers raising own pay

Timing is everything. Even as the city seeks to clean up from the financial havoc wrought by massive raises to police superior officers, the Methuen City Council is debating whether to boost pay for its members, Lisa Kashinsky reports at the Eagle-Tribune. One councilor is proposing to double the current stipends of $4,800 for members and $6,000 annually for the chairperson. 


Markey, Warren press VA on conditions at Brockton facility

The state’s two U.S. senators are pushing for answers from the Veterans Administration amid whistleblower reports of patient neglect—and nurses sleeping on the job—at the agency’s Brockton nursing home, Marc Larocque reports at the Enterprise. 

Brockton Enterprise

Hold your horses, Great Barrington: Western Massachusetts racing waits at the gate

A plan by the owners of Suffolk Downs to launch thoroughbred horse racing at the Great Barrington fairgrounds is on hold indefinitely, awaiting changes in state law that stalled during the 2018 legislative year. Heather Bellow at the Berkshire Eagle has the outlook for getting the changes needed in the coming session. 

Berkshire Eagle

To follow the money, you must follow the population trends

This is interesting because it could forecast where future transportation dollars will, or won’t, go in Massachusetts: A demographic study presented to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board predicts 13 percent growth in the state’s population by 2040, with the lion’s share of the growth focused on Boston and its suburbs, Jack Sullivan reports at CommonWealth Magazine. The forecast is already getting pushback, with officials on Cape Cod, for instance, casting doubt on the prediction that the population there—and in western Massachusetts. — will shrink over the next two decades.  

Speaking of transportation money, former Govs. Michael Dukakis and Bill Weld yesterday criticized the state’s “preposterous” cost estimates for a new North-South rail link in Boston, reports Jack Sullivan at CommonWealth magazine.

CommonWealth Magazine

The Lottery Funds Distribution Gap

Speaking of distributing state funds, Lisa Creamer at WBUR takes a look at where people are buying lottery tickets and playing Keno in Massachusetts – and which towns get most of the money from those Lottery sales. Harvard is the state’s biggest net winner – and it doesn’t even have Lottery terminals in town. About 40 other communities don’t sell lotto products and yet receive Lottery funds. Go figure.


‘So a bunch of Nazis walk into an anarchist book fair …’

Thanks to Universal Hub, we now know what happens when you mix fascists with anarchists at a book fair in Boston: People stop discussing books.

Universal Hub

Just say no? State funds programs to discourage teen sex

More evidence that Massachusetts isn’t always the bluest of blue states. From Christian Wade at the Newburyport Daily News: “The state will use federal money to teach teenagers to abstain from sex before marriage, sparking concerns among some sex-ed advocates who say abstinence-only programs are ineffective. … The state Department of Public Health, which applied for the money, declined to make officials available to discuss how the $808,000 will be spent.”

Daily News

Note to MassterList readers

We’re going to give ourselves a break today and tomorrow by running slightly abbreviated editions of MassterList heading into the long holiday weekend. We’ll also be taking Thanksgiving Day and Friday off as well, returning full force on Monday, November 26. 

The Arc Tank 2.0

Northeast Arc is hosting the Arc Tank 2.0, a competition that seeks to fund innovative and positively disruptive ideas that enhance the lives of persons with disabilities. The event will be held from 2-5pm on Nov. 27 at the JFK Library in Boston.

Northeast Arc

What Your Company Is Saying – What Your Customers Are Hearing .. The Art of Corporate Communications

Join North Shore technology entrepreneurs and leaders for a discussion of the art and practice of corporate communications.

North Shore Technology Council

Religion and Politics in America

E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist, political commentator, and visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, examines the role of religion in American politics with Margery Eagan, co-host of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Power Breakfast: Life Sciences

Join the BBJ for our last Power Breakfast of 2018 as we discuss the business of biotech and the life sciences of the Boston area.

Boston Business Journal

NAIOP – SIOR Annual Market Forecast

Join NAIOP and SIOR for the Annual Market Forecast, one of the industry’s leading market updates.

NAIOP Massachusetts & SIOR New England

The Rise of Populism in the US and Europe

Panelists including Salena Zito and Brad Todd, authors of The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Shaping Contemporary Domestic Politics, and John Judis, author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, examine the rise of populism in the US and Europe with Heather Cox Richardson, Boston College professor of history.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Today’s Headlines


GE brings longtime exec out of retirement to chair power business – Boston Business Journal

More questionable spending found at Dorchester charter school – Boston Globe


Officer arrested on alleged scheme to smuggle drugs into Norfolk prison – MassLive

Neighborhood routes to Worcester, Fitchburg parks to be studied for walkability – Telegram & Gazette

Wrentham looks to reshape its downtown – Sun Chronicle

Report suggests how to modernize New Bedford Police Department – Standard-Times


Drug company raised price of lifesaving opioid overdose antidote more than 600% – USA Today

Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to send hundreds of emails about government business last year – Washington Post

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