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  • 12 Feb 2020 10:48 PM | Marion (Administrator)


    A New Cannabis Culinary Assistant Course Is Being Offered At Holyoke Community College

    By Spectrum News Staff Worcester
    PUBLISHED 7:15 AM ET Feb. 12, 2020

    There is a new cannabis culinary assistant course at Holyoke Community College. Students take part in a lecture and a cooking lab. 

    Marion McNabb is the CEO of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network. She says the course is very “skills based.” "They are learning how to bake. They made cookies last week, this week they are making ice cream this week and they are learning infusion with hemp based CBD,” said McNabb. 

    "Something that’s really relevant, something that will lead to career opportunities and something that will meet the needs of business,” said Kermit Dunkelberg, the assistant Vice President for adult education and workforce development at Holyoke Community College. 

    The classes aim to give students the proper training and the science behind what they are cooking. Randy MacCaffrie, the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, says this course is teaching valuable skills. 

    "There’s  no precedence for any type of training in that industry unless it was in the traditional market,” said MacCaffrie. 

    Students use hemp products, CBD oil and tinctures in the class. They do not contain any THC but the process for baking is the same. 

    "It is important to know the proper calculations in that kind of thing for proper dosaging so people understand what they are ingesting,” said MacCaffrie. 

    The students will eventually handle cannabis when they do their internships with companies following the classroom training. 

    "The idea is that people are coming in, getting this partnered education here at Holyoke then moving on to an internship with one of our licensed applicants,” said Kate Phillips, the director of education for Cannabis Community Care and Research Network. 

    There is four parts to the program, including the culinary portion. HCC’s partners at the Cannabis Community Care and Research network say there will be a need for trained workers. "In Massachusetts were projected to get easily another couple 1000 jobs never mind a U.S. national, were looking at getting another 420,000 jobs just this next year,” said Phillips. 

    McNabb added there’s a high demand in this type of education and they are excited for their program moving forward. 

    Article and Video here: https://spectrumnews1.com/ma/worcester/news/2020/02/12/cannabis-culinary-assistant-course


  • 12 Feb 2020 11:57 AM | Marion (Administrator)

    Local Man Helps Veterans Get Access To Medical Marijuana

    By Spectrum News Staff Worcester

    PUBLISHED 8:04 AM ET Feb. 12, 2020

    A local man is working to help veterans get access to medical marijuana more easily without paying a high cost. Veteran advocate and co-founder of the Cannabis Advancement Series Stephen Mandile, "There's no better person to advocate for veterans than other veterans. We're all brothers and sisters in arms and that comrade is what binds us together and what makes our armed forces the strongest in the world."

    Mandile is an Iraq War veteran and cannabis advocate. The Uxbridge native was seriously wounded in Iraq more than ten years ago while serving in the Army National Guard. He says Veteran's Administration doctors put him on 57 medications, including nine opioids. In 2013 he attempted suicide, and knew something needed to change.

    Mandile, "After working with my VA (Veteran's Administration) care provider for five months I tapered off all my meds and all opioids and all sleeping pills and had my VA doctor tell me I was the first patient in twenty years to do that."

    Mandile partnered with Marion McNabb a little more than a year ago to survey veterans. It (the survey) asked what they were suffering from and what medications they were using. McNabb says 91% of respondents reported using medical marijuana. but say it was costing them more than $317 a month. McNabb, "One hundred percent of our sample believed the VA health provider should be trained in the benefits of medical marijuana use and 100% of our Massachusetts veterans believe (there) should be more research around the benefits of medical cannabis use."

    The two are now working to help push proposed legislation which would allow veterans to use their Veteran's Administration paperwork to qualify for a medical marijuana card. They're asking people to reach out to their local legislators to help push bill H4274.

    Mandile, "You can still send in written testimony to joint committee on cannabis policy at the State House at the Massachusetts Legislature."

    https://spectrumnews1.com/ma/worcester/news/2020/02/12/veterans-medical-marijuana

  • 14 Dec 2019 7:32 PM | Marion (Administrator)


    Cannabis Education Center Announces Upcoming Courses

    By BusinessWest Staff December 13, 2019 412

    HOLYOKE — The Cannabis Education Center, a joint venture between Holyoke Community College (HCC) and C3RN – the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network – has scheduled three standalone courses for people working in the cannabis industry or those who want to get started.

    The first, “How to Start a Cannabis Business,” will be held Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The course, which costs $99, is a comprehensive, introductory session about starting a cannabis business.

    The next, “Professional Cannabis Business Plan Development,” will run on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke. This $199 course is for experienced cannabis entrepreneurs who need assistance developing a business plan.

    The third, “Medical Cannabis 101,” is geared toward dispensary agents and healthcare providers. That will run on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. in the HCC Kittredge Center. The cost is $99.

    Space is limited, so advance registration and pre-payment are required for all courses. No walk-ins will be allowed. To register, visit hcc.edu/bcs and click on ‘Cannabis Education.’

    HCC and C3RN are designated training partners through the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Vendor Training program. The program was designed to provide priority access, training, and technical assistance to those negatively impacted by the drug war. The Cannabis Education Center is based out of the HCC Kittredge Center.

    Original Article: https://businesswest.com/blog/cannabis-education-center-announces-upcoming-courses/

  • 13 Dec 2019 7:31 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    Cannabis Education Center Announces Upcoming Courses

    December 13, 2019 116 Views

    HOLYOKE — The Cannabis Education Center, a joint venture between Holyoke Community College (HCC) and C3RN – the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network – has scheduled three standalone courses for people working in the cannabis industry or those who want to get started.

    The first, “How to Start a Cannabis Business,” will be held Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The course, which costs $99, is a comprehensive, introductory session about starting a cannabis business.

    The next, “Professional Cannabis Business Plan Development,” will run on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke. This $199 course is for experienced cannabis entrepreneurs who need assistance developing a business plan.

    The third, “Medical Cannabis 101,” is geared toward dispensary agents and healthcare providers. That will run on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. in the HCC Kittredge Center. The cost is $99.

    Space is limited, so advance registration and pre-payment are required for all courses. No walk-ins will be allowed. To register, visit hcc.edu/bcs and click on ‘Cannabis Education.’

    HCC and C3RN are designated training partners through the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Vendor Training program. The program was designed to provide priority access, training, and technical assistance to those negatively impacted by the drug war. The Cannabis Education Center is based out of the HCC Kittredge Center.

    https://healthcarenews.com/cannabis-education-center-announces-upcoming-courses/

  • 4 Dec 2019 5:35 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    "Other public health specialists believe Baker’s ban may have caused harm by pushing people to traditional cigarettes or to the illicit market. About 31 percent of 169 Massachusetts residents surveyed online by the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network said the ban made them purchase illicit marijuana vape products."

    Mass. banned vape sales more than two months ago. And now business in N.H. and Maine is booming. 

    By Naomi Martin Globe Staff,December 4, 2019, 8:26 p.m

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/12/04/vape-sales-boom-maine-amid-mass-ban/PQe8dPdInuPYsEIU1SprRK/story.html

  • 12 Nov 2019 10:45 PM | Marion (Administrator)
    Massachusetts regulators quarantine medical vape products as ban expires

    By Jessica Bartlett  – Reporter, Boston Business Journal

    10 hours ago

    The state's Cannabis Control Commission has quarantined medical marijuana vaping products as the state agency said it will seek to test the substances.

    The commission had indicated last week that it could order retail shops and dispensaries to quarantine products if Gov. Charlie Baker’s ban on medical marijuana vapes expired this week. On Tuesday the commission took action, instituting a quarantine on marijuana oil products such as vape pens, vape cartridges, aerosol products, and inhalers.

    The commission’s quarantine isn't as broad as the governor’s ban. The commission will allow vaping of marijuana flower, which marijuana advocates say is not as effective as vaping oil.

    The commission said in a release that the quarantine is necessary after the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention found on Friday that many of the vaping illnesses were tied to a substance called vitamin E acetate.

    “The Commission’s existing testing regulations and protocols do not require testing for vitamin E acetate,” the commission said in its Tuesday release. “Based on current manufacturing processes, it is possible that legal marijuana products sold in the state could contain vitamin E acetate or other potential ingredients of concern. As part of the Commission’s quarantine order issued Tuesday, licensed Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers are required to quarantine products on administrative hold in the state’s mandated seed-to-sale tracking system of record.”

    The commission added that it had begun talking to labs to understand their capacity to test for vitamin E acetate, and circulated an anonymous survey in September to understand ingredients and sources of additives used in marijuana products.

    In a press conference hosted Tuesday by cannabis advocacy groups known as C3RN, Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title said that the quarantine was in response to “credible evidence” of a problem, unlike the “ill-informed, unconstitutional” ban.

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    The ban on medical marijuana products was lifted on Tuesday after Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled last week that the commission, not the governor, had authority over medical marijuana products. Wilkins said the medical marijuana vape ban would expire at noon on Tuesday unless the commission took action.

    Will Luzier, one of four medical marijuana patients who filed suit against the vape ban, said he was disappointed in the commission's action.

    “I think its unfortunate that medical marijuana patients will not be able to get the medicine they feel they need to treat whatever malady they had," he said.

    He added that the commission should have started testing for vitamin E acetate, which had long been suspected of causing illnesses, earlier.

    The ban remains in place for nicotine products and recreational cannabis products, and litigation on those has been moved to the state Supreme Judicial Court for a hearing in December. The Baker administration has been ordered by the courts to hold a hearing in late November as part of emergency regulations for the ban.

    How much Mass. towns are charging marijuana businesses

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    28 photos

    The quarantine is the latest development in the months-long outbreak of vaping-related illnesses that has sickened 2,051 people across the country, as of Nov. 5. As of Nov. 6, three vaping-related deaths and 220 injuries had been reported in Massachusetts since the state started tracking vaping-related illnesses in September.

    Despite the bans, users have continued to vape. Consumers have flocked to MCR Labs in Framingham to have their vape product tested for harmful chemicals. While only one walk-in test was received prior to the ban, 73 have occurred since the ban.

    The lab’s experience matches the results of a survey released Nov. 6 by C3RN, which found that 32% of the 146 respondents had purchased THC vape products illegally since the ban. Additionally, 31% reported traveling to another state to get vape products. Of those that answered the survey, 63% said they were medical cannabis patients.

    “When you ban things you drive people to the illicit market,” Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a primary care clinician at Mass General Hospital and Harvard, said at the C3RN press conference. “The irony is, what's... making people sick is vapes from the illicit market. There is little evidence that people are getting sick from regulated products. It seems counterproductive to ban a regulated market where you can control, test and selectively ban certain agents and force people out of state or to the illicit market.”

    Grant Smith, a medical cannabis patient, added at the press conference that the ban had impacted his ability to receive much needed medication.

    “Take into consideration the human impact of these bans and act on evidence based recommendations from scientists,” Smith said.

    Even beyond Tuesday, there is likely to be a tighter regulations around vaping. The Commission will seek to enact more robust regulations around vaping in the longer term, saying at their meeting last week that they would develop rules around ingredients, labeling, testing, sourcing, storage, manufacturing and consumption processes of both vaping products and accessories.


  • 12 Nov 2019 3:50 PM | Marion (Administrator)


    Today, C3RN led a press conference on the Massachusetts Vape ban with several speakers from the medical cannabis and nicotine vaping communities. 

    The press conference launched today at noon, and shortly after the conference started the announcement that the quarantine on medical products  was released by the CCC. 

    The press conference lasted an hour, and speakers provided reactions and insights into the recent ban on vapes in Massachusetts, in addition to the announcement of the quarantine. 

    Online Press Conference Speakers: 

    12:00 - 12:05 - Dr. Marion McNabb, C3RN Open the Press Conference
    12:05 - 12:10 - Commissioner Title - Recap of the MA Vape Ban, Progress to date and  Recommendations 
    12:10 - 12:15 - Dr. Marion McNabb, Presentation of C3RN MA Vape Ban Survey Results 
    12:15 - 12:20 - Dr. Peter Grinspoon, Harvard/Mass General Hospital 
    12:20 - 12:25 - C3RN to read MCR Statement 
    12:25 - 12:30 - Grant Smith, Medical Cannabis Patient Statement 
    12:30 - 12:35 - C3RN to read Dr. Siegel Nicotine Statement 
    12:35 - 12:40 - Crysta Ascolillo, Nicotine Vape Consumer
    12:40 - 12:45 - Kate Phillips, C3RN Statement and Recommendations
    12:45 - 12:50 - Will Luzier, Tudestr Statement and Recommendations 
    12:50 - 1:00  - Dr. Marion McNabb, C3RN - recap the summary of recommendations

    You can find the full list of recommendations and statements provided HERE

    Watch the video HERE

    Thank you to the Boston Business Journal for Covering Todays Event, read the coverage HERE

    https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2019/11/12/massachusetts-regulators-quarantine-medical-vape.html

  • 6 Nov 2019 9:01 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    As Cannabis Control Commission prepares to vote on vaping ban, coalition says Mass. should lift ban on already tested THC vape products

    Today 4:49 PM

    By Tanner Stening | tstening@masslive.com

    The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network has written to the Cannabis Control Commission recommending a number of policy changes ahead of the commission’s vote on whether to keep Gov. Charlie Baker’s vape ban in place for medical marijuana patients.

    In a letter dated Nov. 5 and signed by company CEO Marion McNabb, C3RN outlined the steps it would like to see implemented to ensure medical marijuana patients have access to vape products. The letter was sent to the commission the day a judge ordered that the state be blocked from enforcing the ban on medical marijuana vape products, beginning on 12:01 p.m. on Nov. 12.

    The network’s recommendations include, among other things, stopping the ban on already tested and approved tetrahydrocannabinol products, establishing a vape buyback program and adopting “digital citizen surveillance system," according to the letter.

    The proposed buyback program would incentivize patients and consumers with discounts and designate sites for the disposal and testing of vapes purchased from the back market. This could include turning in an illicit vape for a discount medical vape from a regulated vendor.

    Other ideas are floated in the letter, including developing a secret shopper program for regulated cannabis vape products, revise labelling or testing standards based on local input and hold emergency public hearings to solicit feedback from the “scientific, clinical, consumer, patient and community.”

    The letter also includes the results from a survey C3RN launched on Oct. 29 assessing the impact the ban has had on Massachusetts residents. The survey showed that 57 percent of respondents said that lack of access to THC vape had impacted their health; 33 percent said the ban caused them to purchase illegal THC vape products on the black market; and roughly 20 percent said the ban caused them continue smoking.

    Roughly 60 percent of those who responded to the survey were between the ages of 25 and 44; 27 percent were between the ages of 45 and 65. Only 5 percent said they were ages 18 to 24, and roughly 7 percent were older than 65.

    Approximately 60 percent of respondents identified as medical cannabis patients compared to 31 percent who identified as a nicotine vape consumer.

    The Cannabis Control Commission will decide whether to keep Baker’s vape ban on medical marijuana vape products after Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ordered the prohibition lifted on those products for patients who are medical marijuana cardholders.

    Wilkins wrote that the state’s Department of Public Health likely exceeded its authority in issuing the ban without assessing its impact on small businesses or holding public hearings. The state now must go back and do both things after filing new regulations with the Secretary of State per a court order.

    charlie baker announces vaping ban

    Gov. Charlie Baker files vaping ban regulations with Secretary of State

    “We believe that means that the ban will remain in place,” Baker told reporters at the Statehouse.

    “The court therefore allows the [Cannabis Control Commission] time to adopt the Emergency Regulations in whole or in part,” the ruling states, “or decline to adopt any ban at all. Rather than disrupt the market, it allows the Emergency Regulations, as adopted by DPH, to remain in place for one week.”

    Vapor Technology Association originally brought the suit challenging Baker’s ban, and a group of medical marijuana patients and advocates intervened. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Monday announced it will hear arguments in December from the case.


  • 28 Oct 2019 12:31 PM | Marion (Administrator)


    Finalists announced for Cannabis Start-Up Competition

    October 24, 2019 2:03 am by Ellie Yeo

    The five finalists in the Cannabis Start-Up Competition, an annual contest hosted by Innovate@BU, were released Friday. BETSEY GOLDWASSER/ DFP FILE ILLUSTRATION

    The third annual Cannabis Start-Up Competition, which is hosted by Innovate@BU and Green Lion Partners and helps Boston University students and alumni who are developing companies ancillary to the cannabis industry, released its five finalists and slate of judges Friday.

    The finalists are competing to win $10,000 and free consulting services from Green Lion Partners, a Denver-based business strategy firm focused on fostering ingenuity and development in the cannabis industry.

    Five finalists were chosen from an applicant pool of start-up companies that support the regulated cannabis industry. Each team consists of at least one BU student or alumnus. The finalists are Boundless Robotics Inc., Trella Technologies, Phenoxpress, SMART and Waev.

    Boundless Robotics Inc., founded by Carl Palmer, a 2004 graduate of the College of Engineering and 2012 graduate of Questrom School of Business, employs robotics and AI to construct one of the world’s largest cannabis farms available to all prospective growers of safe and legal cannabis.

    Trella Technologies, started by Angela Pitter, a 1986 graduate of ENG, also focuses on cannabis farming by using their TrellaGro LST horizontal plant-training technology to make indoor cannabis farming more accessible and efficient.

    Phenoxpress, founded by Wendell Orphe, a 2019 graduate of the Metropolitan College, is a cannabis genetic testing company that offers low-cost sex testing, chemotype determination and plant pathogen screening to cannabis cultivation facilities.

    SMART, The Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency, started by Mariah Brooks, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a national network that provides education, research, and professional opportunities to college students in the cannabis industry.

    Waev, co-founded by Kendall Humphrey, a 2019 graduate of the College of Communication, and Nicholas Lai, a junior in ENG, is a cannabis consumption device that cuts the amount of product needed by 75 percent and uses a filtration system to eliminate odors and secondhand smoke.

    The three returning judges, Peter Bleyleben, Jaime Lewis and Kimberly Napoli, will be hearing from the five finalists as they deliver their final pitches Nov. 7 at the Questrom School of Business from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to the BU community and to the public.

    Humphrey, co-founder of Waev, said the smokeless, odorless technology of the Waev smoking device allows smokers to consume cannabis in social settings and outside without bothering those around them with second-hand smoke and odor.

    “If you don’t smoke, you don’t want to be around smoke … we want to invest in and promote [Waev] so people know that this is the solution and it’s cheap, it’s effective and it looks cool” Humphrey said.

    Humphrey said he and his partner, Nicholas Lai, hope to potentially use Green Lion Partners’ $10,000 prize and consulting services to develop new models of their product, including different options in size and material of the device, as well as to foster connections with local bars and other cannabis industries to promote sponsorship and awareness of Waev products.

    Carl Palmer, Boundless Robotics Inc. president and founder, wrote in an email that the goal of his business is to distribute cannabis through a safer and more efficient way.

    “Our mission is to ensure that more people have access to a high-quality, low cost, and safe product (flower),” Palme wrote. “The reason we are interested in this is because even though it’s [cannabis] legal in several states, a vast majority of the product still comes from the black market.”

    Palmer wrote that he was affected after seeing the impact of drug cartels in his home country of Mexico.

    “Being from Mexico and seeing what cartels have done to my country, I want to do everything possible to take that power away from [cartels] while still filling a demand for a safe product,” Palme wrote.

    The competition began in 2017 thanks to the donation of a BU alumnus involved in the cannabis industry. Ian Mashiter, director of BUild Lab and Questrom School of Business senior lecturer, wrote in an email that the donation was made to give students inspiration to join the competition.

    “The competition started in 2017 thanks to the generous donation of a BU alum who is himself involved in the industry,” Mashiter wrote. “He made this gift in order to encourage BU students and Alumni to come up with innovative new ideas and to get involved in this rapidly growing industry.”

    The winner of the 2017 Cannabis Startup Competition was Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, a company aimed at bringing together members of academia, politics, healthcare, the cannabis industry, consumers and producers to collaborate on research, education and business practices surrounding medical and adult use of cannabis.

    Marion McNabb, the CEO of C3RN, said the prize money and consulting she received after winning were very helpful to her startup.

    “I am continually impressed with BU and its forward thinking leadership in the cannabis industry and with Green Lion Partners for their continued commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in the ancillary industry,” McNabb said.

    C3RN has used the competition prizes to expand their network and develop new partnerships across Massachusetts, as well as launch event series’ surrounding cannabis education, science, and networking.

    Randall MacCaffrie, C3RN chief information officer, said that the advice from BU’s partners and resources has been invaluable.

    “The ongoing support in consultation from Ian [Mashiter] at the BUild Lab, specifically, but also from Green Lion Partners, has been invaluable,” MacCaffrie said. “They’ve continued their support all the way up until just today even, so we can’t say enough about that.”

    Mashiter said that Innovate@BU is proud to see the previous winners, C3RN and Mary’s List, a service that promotes cannabis projects and providers, succeed with their start-ups.

    “We are proud of our first two winners C3RN and Mary’s List,” Mashiter wrote. “We believe these kinds of entrepreneurs serve as great examples to our students on how to recognize and take advantage of new opportunities.”

    Selena Chen, a sophomore in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Services, said she thinks that BU’s focus on the business side of the cannabis industry is a good thing.

    “Personally, I think it’s good that [BU] is expanding the horizons of cannabis,” Chen said. “I feel like it’s always had a negative connotation so making it a business oriented thing is good and will open more people’s minds.”

    Noah Klein, a freshman in the Questrom School of Business, said he supports BU’s exploration of entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry, but is interested in how the university’s involvement in the competition reflects its own cannabis policy.

    “I know BU has a pretty anti-cannabis policy,” Klein said. “So I think it’s pretty interesting that they would embrace this merger.”

    Claire Lukacs, a junior in the College of Communication, said she is unclear as to why BU is hosting a competition about a cannabis start-up, but marijuana related products are not allowed on campus.

    “I guess I’m just a little confused,” Lukacs said. “Because I know it’s not allowed on campus but now it’s a whole thing with BU.”

    https://dailyfreepress.com/blog/2019/10/24/finalists-announced-for-cannabis-start-up-competition/

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Dr. McNabb on Morning Edition WBUR/NPR with Bob Oakes Discussing the MA Vape Ban November 7, 2019


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