10:00 | Lt. Gov. Driscoll gives remarks at Philanthropy MA’s 54th annual meeting. At WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Ave, Boston
10:30 | Attorney General Campbell addresses business leaders at a New England Council event. Campbell will participate in a "fireside chat" with NEC President James Brett. Seaport Hotel, Lighthouse Room, One Seaport Lane, Boston
10:30 | Mayor Wu attends a press conference announcing Sail Boston 2026, a part of Sail250, a global convening of tall ships to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. At the Rotunda at the Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston
1:00 | Gov. Healey gives remarks at the Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation Annual Event. Lt. Gov. Driscoll and Attorney General Campbell also participate. At Ashburton Park
6:00 pm | MBTA staff host virtual meeting to discuss planned 16-day closure of the Red Line's Ashmont Branch and Mattapan Line for track repairs. More Info
In another blow for the Cannabis Control Commission that is already in turmoil, a new state audit reveals that the commission may have allowed for the sale of expired marijuana and did not ensure that cannabis sellers properly reported products that tested positive for pesticides.
While the CCC’s management does not inspire confidence, perhaps it’s only fair to keep in mind that the adult-use market in Massachusetts has grown from zero only a few years ago to $1.4 billion in sales in 2022. It’s looking like new revenue records will be set this year.
But troubles persist. The audit, conducted by state Auditor Diana DiZoglio’s office, investigated whether recreational (aka adult use) marijuana products sold between January of 2019 through December of 2020 met the safety standards required in law.
“According to the Commission’s responses, based on our audit findings, they are taking steps to implement changes and improve policies and procedures to reflect most of our recommendations. I appreciate the willingness to comply with our audit team and will be following up in the near future,” DiZoglio said about her office’s findings.
During the examined period, the auditor found over $10 million worth of product that contained some amount of material that was last tested for contaminants more than a year before it was sold to consumers.
It also identified that the CCC did not ensure that all marijuana shops and independent testing labs reported positive pesticide tests to the commission within 72 hours, as required by law, and one instance where a lab did not notify the commission of a positive pesticide test at all.
The auditor recommended that the CCC develop new monitoring controls to identify all marijuana products that were last tested over a year before and prevent their sale, as well as create a report that identifies all positive pesticide tests.
The new report is only the latest in a series of missteps for the troubled commission that oversees one of the state’s fastest growing industries.
By splitting the baby, so to speak, House and Senate arrive at tax cut deal. (Apologies to all babies)
It was genius. The House wanted to drop the short-term capital gains tax rate to 5%. The Senate wanted to keep it at 12%. So they split it down the middle, and thus the biggest hangup in arriving at what added up to a $1 billion tax cut deal was settled. A vote is coming this week, and relief is in store for seniors, renters, caregivers and low-income families, along with a relaxed estate tax trigger.
Can we compete? Apparently we can. Cambridge named hub of three ARPA Health sites
A new federal agency called ARPA Health, which borrows its name from the storied Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, chose Cambridge as one of its three locations. Massachusetts lawmakers lobbied the federal government on site-selection for more than a year. “This is a huge win for Massachusetts and an opportunity to bring economic development while strengthening our role as a nationwide leader in life sciences,” said Gov. Healey.
Group wants minimum wage hike for tip workers
Advocates with a campaign called One Fair Wage want the state to eliminate the lower minimum wage for workers who receive tips. Under current law, workers who receive tips only need to be paid $6.75 an hour while other workers receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour. The measure may go before voters.
Bay State among states suing Amazon, claiming it’s a monopoly
Massachusetts and 17 other states have joined forces with the Federal Trade Commission to file an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, claiming the e-commerce giant’s market dominance harmed other online sellers and consumers alike.
State funds Mass. hotline to reduce risk of fatal overdoses
The Mass. Department of Public Health has been funding a statewide overdose-prevention helpline since August, becoming the first state to directly fund such an effort. Martha Bebinger of WBUR reports Gov. Maura Healey announced the $350,000 contract to run the hotline as part of a larger push to address troublingly high overdose numbers.
Cahill, Zarella advance in Salem’s mayor’s race
Voters in Beverly narrowed the mayoral race to two on Tuesday, setting up a November showdown between Mayor Mike Cahill, who is seeking a sixth straight term, and first-time candidate Jamie Zarella, who has made slowing the pace of growth in the city a centerpiece of his campaign.
Youth center, homeownership support eyed by Amherst reparations group
Amherst’s African Heritage Reparation Assembly has rolled out its final report on how the town should spend $2 million earmarked for reparations, suggesting a youth center aimed at people of color be created and that funds be generated to support minority homeownership. Scott Merzbach of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports the group also emphasized the need for state and federal-level reparation efforts.
Wampanoag Tribe declares a state of emergency due to homelessness
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council has voted to declare a state of emergency over homelessness within the tribe, a move that opens the door to federal grant funds and clears the way for the tribe to create its own housing authority, Rachael Devaney reports in the Cape Cod Times.
As nip ban looms, New Bedford council looks for workaround to help liquor stores
The New Bedford City Council heard from liquor store owners upset over the nip-bottle ban set to take effect on Nov. 1 and members vowed to do what they could to help the businesses, including possibly delaying the effective date of the ban by a full year so stores can sell off their inventory.
Still fighting: Leominster promises court battle over now-closed maternity unit
The city of Leominster says it will continue to pursue its lawsuit against UMass Memorial Health’s decision to close its maternity unit in the city, saying the hospital group failed to properly outline how it would help women in the area access other birthing services.
Healey ‘looking at’ taking teeth out of MCAS
Gov. Maura Healey is considering eliminating the requirement that students pass the standardized MCAS test before graduating from high school, she told WGBH in an interview yesterday. The Massachusetts Teachers Association, among others, has been pressing for the change.