Axios Boston

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It's Thursday already.

Today's weather: Just awful. Rain, gusts up to 50 mph. Stay inside.

Today's newsletter is 814 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Mass. pardons all misdemeanor pot convictions

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Gov. Maura Healey has pardoned potentially hundreds of thousands of people with misdemeanor simple marijuana possession convictions on their records.

Why it matters: Healey's mass pardon is the widest act of clemency for drug offenders any governor has performed following President Joe Biden's call for mass state-level pardons last year.

What they're saying: "Thousands of Massachusetts residents will now see their records cleared of this charge, which will help lower the barriers they face when seeking housing, education or a job," Healey said in a statement.

The latest: The Governor's Council, an eight-member panel that vets judicial appointments and pardons, approved Healey's plan Wednesday.

How it works: The pardon is effective immediately and state officials are beginning to update records databases.

  • Anyone who wants a certificate proving the pardon can apply online.

Flashback: The Commonwealth's views on cannabis have shifted starkly the last two decades.

  • Voters decriminalized marijuana possession in 2008. Medical access was approved in 2012 and full recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016.
  • The first recreational retail shops opened in November 2018.

The intrigue: Healey herself claims to have "evolved" on the issue since opposing legalization when she was attorney general before becoming governor.

The big picture: Healey's are the first major state pardons since Biden pardoned similar crimes committed on federal land in December.

  • "Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It's time that we right these wrongs," Biden said at the time.

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2. 🗓️ Why you should sell your house in May

2023 Boston home sale premiums, by listing date
Data: Zillow; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Greater Boston homes listed in late May could make $23,600 more, per a new Zillow report.

Why it matters: Sellers need all the cash they can get to make their next move more palatable.

The big picture: May has long been the best month to list your house in the U.S. But in 2023, sellers made the highest profits in the first two weeks of June, a Zillow study shows.

  • This shift is largely due to mortgage rates, which cooled slightly in June and brought some buyers off the sidelines.
  • May was still the top month around Boston, with listings in early June making $16,900 more than average and late June bringing in $20,800 more.

The other side: Buyers, if you want to avoid peak pricing, consider shopping outside of the spring and summer months.

What's next: Interest rate cuts aren't expected anytime soon, but if those rates do fall in 2024, we may have a second spring market.

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3. BTMU: Dot eatery up for Beard award

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Dorchester's Comfort Kitchen is a finalist for the national James Beard Award for best new restaurant. (Eater)

  • Conor Dennehy from Cambridge's Talulla is a finalist for best chef.

Another statewide outage at the RMV meant no transactions could be processed much of yesterday. (WBZ)

Two Boston city councilors want answers from Boston Public Schools after a varsity baseball team was left stranded without transportation from their first game of the season. (Herald)

Hospitals in the Mass General Brigham system will stop automatically reporting suspected abuse or neglect when a newborn tests positive for drugs. (NBC10)

  • The hospital chain says the change is to address racial and ethnic inequities in healthcare.

4. 🛍️ Boston Public Market up for national glory

Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

USA Today is asking its readers to select the nation's top public market and Boston's own bazaar by Haymarket is in the running.

Why it matters: Boston Public Market is home to dozens of local vendors selling everything from seafood and jewelry to baked goods and booze.

  • Ours is a bit smaller than some cities' downtown food markets (looking at you, Philly) but it punches above its weight by catering to lunchtime locals and hungry tourists.

The current vote leaders in the survey are the Milwaukee Public Market, the Eastern Market Detroit and West Side Market in Cleveland.

  • Boston is in 6th place, as of Wednesday afternoon.

When it opened in 2015, Boston Public Market was the first in the country to require most of the food sold there to be locally produced somewhere in New England.

  • Plus, they still allow high-end produce that can't grow in New England.
  • And the bravest buyers can take their chances outside at Haymarket for truly discounted produce.

Vote for Boston Public Market here

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5. 🐾 Pawston: Arlington says yes to no-pets rules

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Arlington's Select Board rejected a proposed bylaw that would have required landlords to allow pets in rented dwellings.

Why it matters: Had the board and town meeting approved the bylaw, renters in Arlington would have been able to adopt a furry friend — even if their landlord won't allow it.

Zoom in: Animal welfare organizations supported the measure, saying it would cut down on the difficulty pet owners have finding a place to rent.

  • There would have been some exceptions to the new rule, but even so, some landlords were miffed at how the bylaw would cut back on their rights as owners.

Tell a furry friend

Send us your pet pics, wild animal sightings and anything else animal-related.

  • You might get a shoutout in the newsletter.

Deehan wants to know if you have any plans for the eclipse. Are you trekking out to Vermont, or just finding a sunny spot to watch from home?

Steph is out this week.

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.