Red Cross will open Weymouth shelter in advance of winter storm Toby

The American Red Cross will open a shelter in Weymouth and stage personnel for two more shelters on Wednesday in advance of winter storm Toby, which is expected to impact much of the Commonwealth.

The nor’easter is forecast to bring snow and winds and the potential for coastal flooding to the Cape, Islands, and southeastern Massachusetts tomorrow. Much of the state is under a winter storm warning, with snowfall totals expected to be as deep as 12 inches in some parts of the state.

The shelter will be opened at the Weymouth Senior Center, 182 Green St., at 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

Volunteers also will stage personnel and shelter supplies in Fall River and Mashpee so that they will be ready for storm response, if needed.

Visit for the latest on shelters and other storm response information. 

State issues rules to guide legal marijuana industry

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission on March 6 unanimously approved 935 CMR 500.00, the regulations for licensing and implementation of the adult-use cannabis industry in Massachusetts. The vote came nine days before the commission’s statutory deadline.

“Today’s meeting was the culmination of months of dogged dedication to an open and collaborative process that embraced the diversity of thought, experience, and perspective of Massachusetts residents in service of the people’s will,” said CCC Chairman Steven J. Hoffman. “Each commissioner was intentional, balanced, and respectful in the healthy push and pull that ultimately delivered a regulatory framework that will result in a retail market that is appropriate for Massachusetts. It was a thorough and necessary process to ensure that the Commonwealth’s unique needs around safety, equity, and commerce were represented in the final regulations.”

The unanimous vote was taken after a six-month process that included 10 listening sessions, nearly 500 public comments, and seven public hearings to deliberate on roughly 150 policies.

The final regulations include nine license categories: cultivator, craft marijuana cooperative, microbusiness, product manufacturer, independent testing laboratory, storefront retailer, third-party transporter, existing licensee transporter, and research facility, to meet the immediate needs of the industry.

Key Regulation Outcomes:

• First-in-the-nation requirement for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMD) to maintain an adequate medical supply of marijuana products for patients that either equates to 35 percent of inventory, or the average, actual sales over the prior six months if co-located with an adult-use Marijuana Establishment.

• Priority status for Economic Empowerment Applicants to support licensees from communities and areas disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest, conviction, and incarceration related to marijuana crimes.

• Universal symbols to indicate a marijuana product contains cannabis and is harmful to children;

• Executive Office of Energy and Environment Affairs’ (EEA) recommendations to reduce cultivator energy use and limit emissions in the Commonwealth;

• Flexible licensing and fee structure that promotes the inclusion of small- and large-scale business ventures, encourages responsible production, and allows growth.

“I’m excited to reach this important milestone; however, there is significant work ahead to launch a safe, robust, and vibrant adult-use cannabis industry,” said Shawn Collins, executive director of the Cannabis Control Commission. “The commissioners and I worked closely with our peers around the nation, sister agencies, policymakers, and community members who provided invaluable feedback to ensure that the regulations reflected best practices and addressed concerns. We are now focused on continuing to build our staff and implementing this progressive and innovative marketplace that puts the health and safety of our citizens first.”

The commission will incorporate language approved at the March 6 meeting into the final regulations before filing them with the Secretary of State.

Over the coming months, the commission has a number of additional milestones to reach, including:

April 1: Begin accepting license applications

June 1: Earliest date on which the commission may issue a license to operate a Marijuana Establishment.

For more information, visit the commission’s website at or follow the commission on Twitter at @MA_Cannabis.

Red Cross, Salvation Army open service centers to help storm victims

The American Red Cross of Massachusetts and the Salvation Army will open service centers in Quincy and Peabody tomorrow and Saturday to offer disaster services to residents affected by coastal flooding associated with winter storm Riley.
The March 2 storm brought flood waters into coastal communities in Massachusetts. Centers were open in Quincy and Marshfield last week where nearly 400 people received assistance.
The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army continue to work with impacted communities in Massachusetts to support individuals and families affected by coastal flooding and other related damage. Additional centers will be open where residents impacted by the storms can request service from the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Locations and times are:
Quincy Service Center: Salvation Army, 6 Baxter St. 
• Thursday, March 15, from 4 -8 p.m.
• Saturday, March 17, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Peabody Service Center, American Red Cross Peabody Office, 85 Lowell St.
Thursday, March 15, from 4-8 p.m.
Saturday, March 17, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Red Cross financial assistance may be available to you if:
• Your home sustained mud, sewer or water damage over eighteen (18) inches above the living floor; if electrical outlets were under water in single family homes or apartments; home has had foundation damage; or, if the property is condemned due to disaster-related circumstances. 
• You lived in a manufactured home and has significant flooring system damage or foundation damage such as displacement from the foundation or other structural component damage.
Those applying for Red Cross assistance are required to bring identification showing address and proof of residence in the affected home. All assistance is provided free of charge.
If you cannot attend in person, please call Massachusetts 211 to register by phone or to get more information about resources in your community.

Power may be restored by midnight, Russo reports

Hull Fire Chief Christopher Russo, who heads up the town's Emergency Management team, issued said an hour ago that National Grid crews were working to restore electricity to Hull, which lost power around 10:30 a.m.

Here is the National Grid update, which Russo posted on the Town of Hull Emergency Management page on Facebook: 

Our crews are currently working on the repairs that we are hopeful will allow Hull Municipal Light to re-energize the town by midnight. We are making every effort to finish the work as soon and safe as possible.

At the same time, given the difficult weather and conditions and the complex repairs required, we do believe it would be prudent for you to consider a back-up plan if the outage extends past midnight.

We appreciate the close communications and collaboration with Town of Hull officials and look forward to seeing the lights back on in your town soon. 

We take seriously our responsibility as the provider of electricity to the Hull Municipal Light Plant.

No school – or after-school events – Tuesday

Superintendent Michael Devine issued the following post on the Hull Emergency Management page on Facebook:

Good afternoon. Due to the intense storm forecast to affect the entire region, Hull Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday March 13th. This also means that there will be no Kidscare or after-school activities tomorrow.

I sincerely hope that this is the last one of these calls that I have to make to you this year. I am also hopeful that our students will take advantage of the snow day tomorrow to read and study. Also – if you are old enough and have the opportunity – tomorrow would be a great day to show a random act of kindness by shoveling out a neighbor who may be unable to do so themselves. Just an idea.

Have a good night and a safe day tomorrow.