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Consumer News

State’s first medical pot dispensary opens

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SALEM — The first medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts opened Wednesday — by appointment only — nearly three years after voters overwhelmingly approved the drug’s therapeutic use. Patients lined up outside the Alternative Therapies Group’s dispensary in Salem a day after state regulators signed off on its final paperwork. Access to the dispensary in a converted factory building that houses other businesses will be restricted to patients with a state-issued …

European deal creates new US grocery giant

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NEW YORK — The owner of Stop & Shop and Giant will tie up with the parent company of Food Lion, creating a $29 billion grocer that will be in a stronger position to compete with Wal-Mart and other discount retailers. The deal, which would create the fourth largest grocer in the U.S., …

FDA orders end to artificial trans fats

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — Popular foods like pie crusts, frostings and microwave popcorn will be largely rid of artery-clogging trans fats after a decision by the Obama administration to phase them out over the next three years. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered food companies to phase out artificial trans fats, calling them …

Competing smoke shops in Amherst offer ‘functional art’ driven by popularity of delivering nicotine in vapor form

Sunday, March 22, 2015

AMHERST — Numerous miniature bottles holding the liquid used in e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers fill racks along an entire wall of the Exscape Smoke Shop. Heating this so-called e-juice — which contains nicotine, flavor, propylene glycol and vegetable …

Starbucks CEO defends new ‘Race Together’ campaign after criticism

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NEW YORK — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz last week defended the company’s new “Race Together” campaign that has been criticized for being naive and even using racial tensions to boost its bottom line. The chain, best known for …

Companies look to tap into Vt.’s maple business

Sunday, March 22, 2015

ISLAND POND, Vt. — Already, Vermont is maple syrup capital of the U.S., with production traditionally being a side business for farmers. Could a large-scale operation, tapping into thousands of acres of maple trees in a remote northeastern …

GM retreats from Russia

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MOSCOW — General Motors will slash production in Russia and pull its mass-market Opel brand completely in the face of plummeting sales in the economically troubled country. Mainstream GM brands have been among the biggest losers as Russia’s …

Feds aim to halt fishing fraud by tracking seafood imports

Sunday, March 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — In an effort to eradicate illegal fishing and seafood fraud, the Obama Administration is launching a fish tracking system that would eventually tell consumers where their fish was caught, processed and stored. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews announced the initiative at the Seafood …

Lia Auto Group buys Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on Damon Road, fourth business in Northampton

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — An established regional auto group expanded its holdings in Northampton this week, buying the Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on Damon Road. The acquisition by Lia Auto Group comes three months after the Mitchell Auto Group …

Meat industry takes up arms against new dietary proposals

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — The meat industry is seeing red. Meat companies have tried to rehabilitate an image tarnished in recent years by health and environmental concerns. Now the industry is swiftly and aggressively working to discredit a proposal for …

Can Etsy stay folksy while making shareholders money?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

NEW YORK — If craft seller Etsy goes public later this year it will be a test of how well the company can balance an explicit social mission with shareholder expectations for making money. Founded in 2005, Brooklyn-based …

Harold Tramazzo, owner of Hangar Pub and Grill, takes over operations at Amherst Brewing Co.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — The owner of the Hangar Pub and Grill is taking over all operations at the nearby Amherst Brewing Co., including food preparation, customer service and beer brewing. Hangar owner Harold Tramazzo said Wednesday that he intends to keep Amherst Brewing moving forward as changes are made …