June 7, 2024

State Regulatory Agencies Remind Retailers:
Hemp Derived CBD/THC Not Allowed in Food/Beverages Manufactured or Sold in MA


In a May 29th letter to all local Boards of Health and DPH-licensed or Inspected Facilities, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) and the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) sought to address the recent influx of products manufactured or sold in Massachusetts containing cannabidiol (CBD) and/or delta-8-tetrahydrocannibinol and/or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The letter makes clear that the addition of CBD and/or THC to food manufactured or sold in Massachusetts is illegal.  This does not apply to edible marijuana products licensed and sold under the jurisdiction of the Cannabis Control Commission.
DPH has posted additional resources and a set of FAQ’s online at:


Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches New MA Summer Child Nutrition Program

Federal program will bring $70 million to Massachusetts, ensuring 600,000 students and their families have access to food during summer months

In a press release, The Healey-Driscoll administration announced that Massachusetts has received federal approval for its summer child nutrition program. Following the ending of Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), this new child nutrition program will help feed an estimated 600,000 students while schools are closed for the summer. Low-income Massachusetts families with school-aged children will be eligible to receive financial assistance to buy groceries, bringing more than $70 million in federal funds to the state’s economy.

“In Massachusetts, we are not leaving federal dollars on the table that could support children and families’ food security. In partnership with our State Legislature, we made universal free school meals permanent. And with this new program, we are working to ensure children and families have access to healthy food all year long,” said Governor Maura Healey. “I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress for permanently establishing this child nutrition program. Massachusetts is proud to be utilizing all tools available so kids can focus on learning and play, not where their next meal is coming from.”

Bill Rennie, RAM Vice President, was quoted in the release,  “Massachusetts retailers have long been proud of our partnership with the state and federal government in participating in the SNAP and EBT programs to provide residents with access to nutritious and healthy foods. We applaud Governor Healey for the launch of this Summer EBT Program to continue to assist low-income families in buying food when school is out for the summer.” 

Click here to read full release.


Visa & Mastercard Interchange Fee Settlement

Claims Deadline - Extended to August 30, 2024


RAM members are advised to act now to see if they are entitled to a portion of the pending $5.54 billion Visa/Mastercard Interchange Settlement.  The settlement stems from a class action antitrust lawsuit alleging that the credit card companies overcharged interchange fees on merchants accepting credit card payments.
Merchants that accepted Visa or Mastercard payments at any time from January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019 may be eligible to recover funds from this settlement.  To take part in the settlement, impacted merchants MUST FILE A CLAIM via the court-approved settlement portal at www.paymentcardsettlement.com.  The deadline for filing a claim has been extended to August 30, 2024.
The process for checking eligibility and filing a claim on the portal is simple and straightforward.  Merchants that have received a Claim Form by mail from the Class Administrator may use the Claimant ID included in the document to start the claims process.  Merchants that have not received a Claim Form by mail, may look up their eligibility on the portal using their federal Taxpayer Identification Number.   
Please note that there are third party firms currently offering claims filing services to merchants.  Before engaging with a third party to file your claim, RAM strongly recommends first checking your claim on the portal as described above.  Services offered by these third parties are often costly, and also unnecessary due to the resources made available by the Class Administrator including no-cost assistance with submitting a claim.

Members with questions may contact RAM General Counsel, Ryan Kearney, at [email protected].