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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Attorney Appointed to Two Massachusetts Bar Association Committees

 

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is proud to announce that an attorney within the Firm, Vineesha Sow, has accepted the invitation to serve on two of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s (MBA) committees. Last year, Ms. Sow was invited to serve on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the MBA, and has since been invited to serve for another year on the committee. This Committee focuses on supporting the MBA in its mission to transform the Commonwealth’s legal community into a diverse, inclusive and equitable profession, and overall to hold the MBA community accountable for taking measures to that end. In addition, she received an invitation to sit on the Tiered Mentor Committee. This Committee is a new addition to the MBA created to oversee the Tiered Community Mentoring Program (TCM). Attorney Sow has been heavily involved with the TCM for the past few years. The TCM program provides mentorship to high school students in Boston, as well as undergraduates and law school students with a focus on building a diverse mentoring network. This program introduces high school students to college information, provides college students with details about the law school admission process and gives law students an inside look of the practice of law with their attorney mentors. Further, Attorney Sow participated in the MBA Leadership Academy in 2017. The Leadership Academy selects young attorneys that demonstrate leadership potential and attributes, and provides mentorship and education in hopes that attorneys dedicate themselves to leadership roles within the legal profession, including within the MBA.

 

Ms. Sow is an attorney in the firm’s Education Law and Special Education Law Groups.  Prior to coming to Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, she held positions, representing indigent clients in special education matters, and providing mental health advocacy to children with complex mental health needs. As part of Ms. Sow’s work in education law she has provided several trainings in the areas of special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, school discipline and bullying/cyberbullying to medical and mental health professionals, public school districts, and community service agencies throughout Massachusetts. She has lectured at Harvard Law School and Boston College Law School on the topic of system-involved youth and the impact of special education and school discipline laws on this population. Ms. Sow is an Adjunct Professor at Bunker Hill Community College where she teaches Legal Research and Writing.

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Legal Updates

MARIJUANA REFORM BILL BECOMES LAW

On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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