BOSTON (AP) - Two marijuana stores in Massachusetts have been given the green light to begin selling recreational pot next week, making them the first commercial pot shops in the eastern United States. The Cannabis Control Commission said Friday that New England Treatment Access, in Northampton, and Cultivate Holdings, of Leicester, have been authorized to open their stores and begin selling recreational marijuana in three calendar days. Both stores announced they would open Tuesday morning.

BOSTON (AP) - New figures show Massachusetts remains in the throes of an opioid crisis with more than 1,500 deaths through the first nine months of 2018, most linked to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. The latest quarterly report on opioid-related deaths from the state Department of Public Health also points to some encouraging trends, including a slight drop in overdose deaths compared to last year and fewer opioid prescriptions.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Public officials are on the defensive after the season's first snowstorm stranded thousands of motorists for hours and forced some students to stay overnight in their schools. Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said "lousy" forecasts were partly to blame. But a former chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service in New Jersey said on Twitter that it was the state's poorly executed snow removal plan, not meteorologists, who screwed up.

MILFORD, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts police chief filed a lawsuit against the town employing him and two selectmen after they voted to not renew his contract and formed a search committee to replace him. The lawsuit filed by Milford Chief Thomas O'Loughlin claims the selectmen don't have the authority to not renew his contract. A lawyer representing Milford declined to comment

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