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  • 22 Oct 2019 11:40 AM | Marion (Administrator)

    Holyoke Community College launches 'Cannabis Education Center'

    Morgyn Joubert

    HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A forum was held tonight to announce the launch of the Cannabis Education Center at Holyoke Community College.

    The forum called 'Emerging Cannabis Industry' was a panel discussion and networking event to educate people about the region's marijuana business.

    Tonight, Western Mass News spoke with the CEO of the Cannabis Community Care Research Network, who said why they decided to open the center.

    The new education center is located inside the college's Kittredge Center providing academic advising, public education on events, and career opportunities.

  • 21 Oct 2019 4:45 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    Holyoke Community College to offer cannabis-related courses

    by: Hayley Crombleholme

    Posted: Oct 21, 2019 / 11:36 PM EDT / Updated: Oct 21, 2019 / 11:46 PM EDT

    HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s becoming a booming industry in the Commonwealth and now, a new program at Holyoke Community College will help prepare people for careers in the cannabis industry.

    Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has been outspoken about his desire to make Holyoke a destination for cannabis business, turning some of these old mills behind me into growing and cultivating hubs. Now, Holyoke Community College is making sure they have a well-trained workforce to go with it.

    At a forum at HCC, Mark Zatryka, CEO of INSA, which operates recreational and medical marijuana businesses, said hiring for the cannabis industry can come with challenges.

    “To bring on a new employee is very expensive,” said Zatryka. “So, we do try to spend as much time as we can to select the right individuals, it can be really hard, because it is hard to find people with experience.”

    Now, HCC is teaming up with Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, out of Worcester, to help solve that problem.

    Zatryka added, “Develop a cannabis center for education at Holyoke Community College. There will be four Cadres of training that we are going to be involved in. Culinary, cultivation, extraction, and patient advocate.”

    In courting the cannabis industry, Holyoke hopes it will mean more job opportunities for a city struggling with unemployment. Randall MacCaffrie with Cannabis Community Care said marijuana is a new market, where the number of jobs continues to grow.

    “I believe the unemployment rate is double the rest of the state in this area,” MacCaffrie told 22News. “Right now there are 50 jobs available in the city, and they expect it to be 500 in the next year or so as these businesses open up in Holyoke, So I think it’s a real opportunity for the underserved, underemployed or unemployed to have this basic training in the industry.”

    MacCaffrie said the culinary cannabis program will be the first to start in January, with around 40 students.


  • 4 Oct 2019 12:50 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    Emerging Cannabis Industry Focus Of Oct. 21 Event At HCC

    By BusinessWest Staff October 4, 2019

    HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) and its social-equity vending partner, Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN), have scheduled the first of what both organizations expect to be an ongoing series of educational and networking events designed to spur investment, economic growth, and job creation in the nascent cannabis industry in Western Mass.

    “The Emerging Cannabis Industry in Western Mass.” will be held on Monday, Oct. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room on the third floor of the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development, 303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke. The event will include data sharing and a panel discussion featuring key figures in the region’s cannabis industry.

    The event is free and open to all and will be of particular interest to anyone who is or wants to get involved in the cannabis industry in Western Mass.

    “The legalization of cannabis is often discussed in the context of social equity and justice,” said Jeff Hayden, HCC’s vice president of Business and Community Services. “This panel will discuss this new-to-Massachusetts industry as a way to stimulate private investment, promote job creation, and increase tax-revenue growth for municipalities and the Commonwealth. This is truly a promising economic and workforce-development opportunity for the Pioneer Valley.”

    Panelists will include Mark Zatryka, CEO of INSA; Meg Sanders, CEO of Canna Provisions; Marcos Marrero, director of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Holyoke; and Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, executive director of SPARK EforAll Holyoke. The discussion will be moderated by Kate Phillips, director of Education for C3RN.

    In August, HCC and C3RN announced a cannabis workforce-training initiative that will begin this winter with a cannabis culinary assistant program at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, with other training programs to follow in spring 2020.

    “The growing cannabis industry in Massachusetts provides a great opportunity to engage the industry, innovators, and academics in high-quality workforce and entrepreneurial training locally,” said Marion McNabb, C3RN’s CEO. “C3RN and HCC are excited to be social-equity training partners and vendors to drive innovation in education for the cannabis and hemp industries in Massachusetts.”

    Original Article:

  • 20 Sep 2019 2:21 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    Language of Business TV show and podcast filming: All about cannabis!


    Language of Business TV show and podcast filming: All about cannabis!

    Many thanks to Dr. Marion McNabb, CEO of the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, for her time discussing cannabis research today. We were on location at the storied Bull Mansion in Worcester, Massachusetts. She talked about developing and dispensing cannabis research, seeking funding, and partnerships with universities. Check out the pictures below. The podcast will be airing soon, followed by the edited video footage in a few weeks / months.

  • 18 Sep 2019 2:54 PM | Marion (Administrator)
    Rowan: Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) and Boston University School of Law have created a partnership to provide free and accessible services for expungement and sealing of criminal records to those who qualify in Massachusetts. Starting effective immediately, BU School of Law and C3RN will accept applications for free expungement and sealing records for those who fit program criteria.

  • 18 Sep 2019 10:08 AM | Marion (Administrator)


    Media Contact - Joshua Milne,, 617-501-1620 (for C3RN)

    BOSTON, Mass – September 17, 2019 Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) and Boston University School of Lawannounced their partnership aiming to provide free and accessible services for expungement and sealing of criminal records to those who qualify in Massachusetts.

    As part of the recent criminal justice reform act, Massachusetts residents now have the ability to expunge their past criminal convictions. This service has been available since late 2017, yet few have taken advantage of expunging or sealing their records to date. People with convictions have a difficult time finding housing, loans, financial support, and other services. Expunging or sealing records can improve access to these services.

    Starting effective immediately, BU School of Law and C3RN will accept applications for free expungement and sealing records for those who fit program criteria. Resources and referrals for supportive and ongoing services, including eligible criteria and how to apply can be found here:

    “BU Law students in the criminal clinic are motivated, intelligent and trained to provide the highest quality defense representation”, said David Rossman, Professor of Law, Boston University Law School.

    These services come at a time where new career opportunities exist, including in the new legal medical and adult-use cannabis industry in Massachusetts.  Specifically, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) programs for economic empowerment and social equity prioritize those with a CORI record, leading to opportunities that can improve the quality and productivity of lives for many.

    Despite legalization unfolding in Massachusetts, disparities in cannabis enforcement and arrests still remain. According to the April 2019 Cannabis Control Commission baseline report on social equity and enforcement in Massachusetts:

          “Statewide, Blacks had a larger percentage of cannabis-related:

    (1) transportation, (2) distribution, (3) possession, (4) buying/receiving, (5) using/consuming violations relative to their percentage of the population overall.

          Hispanics made up a larger percentage of: (1) transportation, (2) distribution, (3) possession, and (4) buying/receiving violations relative to their population.

          In contrast, Whites represented a smaller percentage relative to their population in all cannabis violations with the exception of cultivating/manufacturing.

          Asians represented a smaller share of all cannabis violations related to their percentage of the population.

          Literature reviews suggest that drug records have adverse effects on employment, which may be compounded for Black and Latino/Hispanic individuals.

          Nationally, Black and Latino/Hispanic cohorts are arrested for drug offenses at higher rates than Whites despite similar rates of drug use and sale; No peer-reviewed research exists for Massachusetts data.

    Randal MacCaffrie, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for C3RN said “Disparities in arrests and access still exist in Massachusetts, and those who have a criminal record face difficulty in accessing the basic services available to improve financial income and quality of life. Our partnership with Boston University School of Law aims at righting the wrongs of the drug war and offering a free and accessible pathway for those disproportionately impacted to have a chance for a better life.”

    Join the Equity First Alliance, C3RN, and MRCC in Worcester, Massachusetts on Wed September 25, 2019 from 6-9 PM for an educational expungement and record sealing clinic. Address: 26 Millbury St Worcester, MA 01604. Register for the free event here:

    To see if you qualify for free expungement and criminal record sealing services through C3RN and Boston University School of Law, please register at For more information about clearing cannabis convictions in Massachusetts, please visit Read more: Cannabis Control Commission A Baseline Review and Assessment of Cannabis Use and Public Safety Part 2: 94C Violations and Social Equity: Literature Review and Preliminary Data in Massachusetts April 2019:

    About Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN)

    Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) is a public benefit corporation (B Corp) based out of Bull Mansion in Worcester, MA that specializes in providing high-quality research and analytic services related to the impacts of medical and adult-use recreational cannabis. C3RN specializes in designing, monitoring, and evaluating models of integrating adult-use and medical cannabis to positively impact social, clinical, and public health outcomes. C3RN runs a national anon cannabis consumer and patient survey in addition to a veteran’s health and cannabis research study in Massachusetts. C3RN and HCC are selected qualified training vendors for the cannabis control commission social equity training program. Learn more at:

    About Boston University School of Law

    Founded in 1872, Boston University School of Law is a top-tier law school with a faculty recognized nationally for exceptional teaching and preeminent scholarship. You can explore virtually any area of the law in 200+ classes and seminars, 20+ clinics and externships, and 21 study abroad opportunities. BU Law offers a full-time JD degree, six LLM & master’s degrees, and 17 dual degrees. With the support of a global network of nearly 24,000 alumni and a robust Career Development & Public Service Office, our graduates achieve remarkable career success. BU Law is located in the heart of Boston and housed in the ultra-modern Sumner M. Redstone Building and Law Tower.


  • 7 Sep 2019 2:38 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    As Rob Gronkowski endorses CBD benefits, area communities grapple with enforcement of state restrictions

    By Sarah Klearman / Cape Cod Times

    Posted Sep 7, 2019 at 5:47 PM

    Despite former New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski’s announcement that he will now be invested in CBD, not the NFL, the future of that industry is uncertain in Massachusetts, and local business owners are grappling with how to adjust to evolving standards.

    Although CBD, or cannabidiol, is a member of the cannabis family, it has no psychoactive properties, meaning it has no known impact on a user’s sobriety when ingested or smoked, according to a June 2018 statement from the Food and Drug Administration. And Gronkowski is not the only one with a vested interest in it. Business owners have been examining the local market for CBD since Massachusetts voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational pot in 2016.

    Gronkowski said his father introduced him to CBD as part of his recovery regimen after his retirement from professional football in March.

    “He gave me some to try, and I was blown away by how well it worked,” Gronkowski said during a late-August press conference, describing CBDMedic, the brand he has chosen to partner with. “For the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free. And that is a big deal.”

    Since the 2018 Farm Bill distinguished hemp from marijuana, legalizing crop production of hemp, the market for CBD has boomed. In Massachusetts, as elsewhere in the country, it began to appear in retail establishments as a menu item in restaurants (often as an add-in to smoothies or juices) or in the form of infused oils or creams. It has grown increasingly popular in wellness circles for its purported capacity to ease physical and mental ailments. In May, Forbes reported that a new study estimated the CBD industry could earn $20 billion by 2024.

    Despite its potential, it has not been smooth sailing for Gronkowski’s new industry of choice. Per FDA regulations, CBD may not be sold as a dietary supplement, and any CBD product making medicinal claims may not be legally sold until it is approved by the agency.

    In June, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources instituted a ban on CBD reflecting FDA regulations. The ban came as a surprise to those in the industry in the state, according to Marion McNabb.

    McNabb has been dialed in to Massachusetts’ cannabis industry since the state legalized marijuana; in 2018, she co-founded the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, which researches the benefits of medical and recreational use of cannabis and its byproducts, including CBD. She says she thinks there was little public transparency around the state’s ban.

    “It came as a surprise and a shock to many,” McNabb said. In the wake of the ban, she and other industry members founded the Massachusetts Hemp Coalition, which began advocating for Massachusetts farmers, processors, retailers and consumers in the hemp and CBD industry.

    “A stop-and-start (ban) can really hurt a small business that doesn’t have a ton of capital — they might have to lay off people, they have to remove inventory,” McNabb said.

    “We opened our store eight months ago when CBD was fully legal, poured most of our funds into it, and now we have to take products off the shelf and only sell topicals,” Chris Thistle, chief technical officer of New Bedford-based Growing in Health said in July. “It just isn’t right. We have been trying to make up for the loss in sales by pushing our medical card certification service and also offering CBD massages.”

    Lynne Begier, who owns Roastd General Store on Nantucket, had added CBD to the drink menu at her store before the ban. Items like her rose vanilla cardamom CBD latte and chocolate mint CBD mocha had become increasingly popular orders. Begier estimates that a third of the drinks sold at the store, which she says deals in “coffee, tea and wellness” were made with CBD. Business was booming — until the ban.

    “The health department came in and said, ‘You can’t (sell) any of that.’ It was pretty much overnight,” Begier said.

    According to Jana Ferguson, director of the Bureau of Environmental Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the state will leave enforcement of the ban at the local level to respective boards of health.

    For some towns, enforcement is still in flux. Bob Canning, health agent for Orleans, began researching the ban after a local vendor approached the town’s health department with questions about the sale of CBD. Canning said he could not confirm whether his department had previously received information about the state ban.

    “In researching, we came across information that (CBD) is a banned substance that can’t be added to food,” Canning said. “Since then, we’ve been talking with other health departments to try and find a way we can address it. We haven’t determined the best way yet.”

    Thomas McKean, director of inspections for the town of Barnstable’s public health division, says the department has had “at least one” inquiry from a vendor about selling CBD oil. He says his concern is with unspecified standards of regulation for CBD products.

    CBDMedic, the company with which Gronkowski has partnered, sells “topical pain and skin care medication,” according to its website. CBDMedic advertises its products as providing temporary relief for “sports-related joint and muscle pain” as well as other conditions, such as arthritis.

    The medical implications of the product — which, per FDA guidelines, would be considered a drug because of its intended use to “treat or prevent disease or otherwise affect the functions of the human body” — leave the path unclear for Gronkowski and CBDMedic.

    Local businesses have found themselves in similar situations. Many business owners contacted by the Times — some having removed CBD from their menus or shelves, and some still selling the product — declined requests for interviews, citing concern for their businesses and the uncertainty of state and federal regulation of CBD. Others said that was the first they had heard of the ban.

    Begier said her customers are “bummed” at the removal of CBD from her menu. She believes that CBD products could be regulated as marijuana products are. Given they meet the health and safety standards, they should be available for retail sale, she said.

    “It’s so sad that we’re cutting the legs off of the CBD movement, because (as a state) we want to be a part of it,” Begier said.

    And, some retailers are worried these regulations could force them to shut down.

    “If we were to get shut down completely, there would be a good amount of families that are going without because we have given our savings to Growing In Health, to see it succeed,” Thistle said, but he’s still hoping for the best.

    “We have obtained our Hemp cultivation license and will be pursuing opening a processing facility to manufacture our own products that will be in line with what MDAR and the state of Massachusetts wants,” Thistle explained, “Hopefully in the near future, if all goes according to plan, we will have state compliant products on our shelves and once again be able to help the citizens of New Bedford.”

    Original article:

  • 3 Sep 2019 3:57 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    HCC to offer classes to train people for cannabis economy

    Sept. 3, 2019 | G. Michael Dobbs |

    HOLYOKE – With the cannabis industry now in its second phase – first medical dispensaries and now adult use recreational facilities – Holyoke Community College (HCC) is anticipating a demand for jobs in the cannabis industry and will start this fall four cannabis workforce training programs.

    The college has joined forces with the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) to create these programs. According to the college, the program has been approved by “the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission as a Social Equity Vendor, the partnership aims to prepare workers – particularly those in communities with high levels of poverty and unemployment – for employment opportunities in the newly legal and regulated cannabis market.”

    Jeff Hayden, HCC vice president of Business and Community Services, explained to Reminder Publishing that in Holyoke alone 500 new jobs are expected to be created by cannabis.

    He said the need for trained people is “a significant demand.”

    Hayden added, “It is a very strong and growing industry.” The job offerings are also very diverse, as the classes illustrate. There are classes in Cannabis Cultivation Assistant; Dispensary Patient Advocate/ Bud Tender; Extraction Technician Assistant and Cannabis Culinary Assistant & Infusion Specialist.

    The Cannabis Culinary Assistant program will be the first program to launch in fall 2019 at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute at the Cubit Building on Race Street. The programs will start in spring 2020.

    According to HCC, “The culinary program will consist of 96 hours of skills-based training that will cover job readiness, professional skills, industry background, and Massachusetts laws and regulations. Training will use hemp and other products that simulate cannabis, rather than cannabis itself. In addition, C3RN will provide mentored internships with local legal and operating cannabis dispensaries.”

    In a written statement Hayden said, “We will be training students in customer service, cultivation, dosing, cooking, and extraction methods and techniques, but when it is time for students to work with actual product, that will take place offsite through our partner C3RN and local, legal operating dispensaries and cannabis and hemp companies. As the education partner, we want to ensure that local residents and students have access to opportunities – including those in emerging industries such as cannabis and hemp – that lead to jobs.”

    Marion McNabb, chief executive officer of C3RN said, “We are thrilled to get started with HCC and cannabis industry partners to collaboratively develop high-quality skills-based workforce training programs that are rooted in evidence and cannabis industry best practices. The first culinary focused program will be offered this fall at the new HCC Culinary Arts Institute in Holyoke. We are utilizing best practices in adult workforce learning, entrepreneurship, and innovation to create training programs that are collaborative with industry partners and meet the needs of the industry and the learner.”

    To learn more go to

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  • 22 Aug 2019 1:08 PM | Marion (Administrator)

    Seth Moulton to speak by video at Lynn cannabis conference
    By Colin A. Young State House News Service,August 22, 2019, 8:53 a.m.

    Congressman Seth Moulton, as he darts across the country running for president, will deliver a keynote address by video Thursday at a cannabis conference in Lynn, organizers said.

    Moulton, who has worked in Congress to make cannabis a more realistic treatment option for veterans, recorded the video message for the conference on innovations in cannabis cultivation, extraction, and ancillary services, hosted by the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network and Alternative Treatment Veterans.

    Organizers said their event, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Lynn Museum, “is intended to enhance interaction by bringing professionals who represent a diversity of experience and approaches to sound models and applications on the businesses serving the current and future cannabis medical and adult-use market.”

    Last year, Moulton joined Republican US Representative Matt Gaetz, of Florida, to prepare three bills that seek to learn more about how veterans use cannabis, to prepare better medical marijuana education for providers and to protect the benefits of veterans who use marijuana.

    “Our veterans are seeking alternative options to opioids, and we should be supporting their desires not to be addicted to painkillers. Let’s not kid ourselves, people are using marijuana — including our veterans,” Moulton said at the time.

    A 2011 study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs found that Veterans Health Administration patients were nearly twice as likely as the general population to die of an accidental opioid overdose, and recent survey data from the American Legion shows that veterans and their caregivers are interested in having medical marijuana as a treatment option.

    The American Legion reported in 2017 that 22 percent of veterans were using marijuana to treat a medical condition. Eighty-three percent of veteran households surveyed indicated that they think the federal government should legalize medical cannabis, and 82 percent said they want to have medical cannabis as a federally-legal treatment option.…/cmi8KU7BCyOVNwD40j…/story.html

  • 19 Aug 2019 1:31 PM | Marion (Administrator)
    Summer Catch Up With C3RN, VAH, And Joint Venture Co.

    By: Brit Smith, Blunt Talk, IHeart Radio August 19, 2019 

    BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In this episode of Blunt Talk, host Brit Smith talks to the people behind the Cannabis Advancement Series Events in Massachusetts about their ongoing study on how veterans use marijuana.

    In the studio are Dr. Marion McNabb and Randy MacCaffrie of Cannabis Community Care Research network (C3RN), Stephen Mandile from Veterans Alternative Healing (VAH), and Ann Brum from Joint Venture Co.

    They discuss recent bipartisan legislation on legalization, the hurdles facing veterans who use medical marijuana, the new policy on hemp and CBD, and the anti-prohibitionist rallies on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse.

    We also get a preview of C3RN’s cannabis panel event, which Brit will be moderating at the Lynn Museum on 8/22.

Jimmy Young, In the Weeds with C3RN

55 Pearl Street
Worcester, MA 01608

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