Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision to rescind a memo which addressed legal disparities between state and federal cannabis policies has generated concern among cannabis industry leaders and government officials in Massachusetts and around the country.
Shortly after formal session resumed on January 3rd, House and Senate leadership announced their priorities for the upcoming year which include: the budget, affordable housing, health care, criminal justice reform, short-term rental taxation, and paid sick leave.
Topics: Short Term Rentals
On October 20th, Massachusetts submitted a 182-page proposal to Amazon in hopes that Amazon will choose one of 26 potential sites in Massachusetts as the home of its second headquarters. It has been estimated that this second Amazon headquarters would generate five billion dollars in investment and add an additional 50,000 jobs. If Massachusetts is chosen, the positive impact to infrastructure and job growth would echo the January 2016 move of GE’s Headquarters to Boston from Connecticut, which resulted in up to 120 million dollars in infrastructure improvement and included 25 million dollars in local tax breaks.
The Cannabis Control Commission has had an action-packed month, hiring an executive director for the commission, as well as working extensively to meet deadlines for both medical and recreational marijuana in the coming year.
Following their summer recess, the House and Senate have focused their attention on overriding Governor Baker’s budget vetoes from July. On Wednesday, October 4th, the House voted to restore all 320 million dollars that Governor Baker had vetoed out of the 2018 Fiscal Year budget which had been proposed to him in July.
Before the legislative winter recess commences on November 15th, the House and the Senate are hoping to pass two criminal justice bills.
Topics: Criminal Justice
The popularity of short-term rentals in Boston and in cities across the country means that government has found the need to step in and regulate this type of rental opportunity. From luxurious corporate short-term rentals to thousands of properties listed on Airbnb and similar sites, short-term rentals for business and pleasure continue to be on the rise.
Topics: Short Term Rentals
On December 15, 2016, recreational marijuana use became legal in Massachusetts. I've reviewed the new legislation--along with the changes made by the legislature this July--and recognize its complexity and the significant regulations marijuana retailers must follow. The Governor has already signed a bill extending deadlines for regulations, including changing the date retail marijuana stores will be able to operate to July 1, 2018. The newest amendments are awaiting the Governor's signing.
As the Federal Executive Branch denies climate change and separates from the Paris Climate Agreement on behalf of the United States, the states will fill the void. With the pending release of the National Climate Assessment, a report mandated by Congress, the the stakes will be even higher.
Topics: Clean Energy
The Mayoral seat and all thirteen seats on the Boston City Council are up for election this year. The primary occurs on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 and the final election on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. The City Council consists of four at large seats and nine district seats. The primary election for Mayor will narrow the field to two and voters will then choose one in November to serve as Boston’s Mayor from 2018-2022.