Coverage of Hampshire County, Massachusetts.

The cash drawer at INSA in Easthampton, which, like many medical dispensaries and stores in Massachusetts, does most of its business only in cash.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Another marijuana store, INSA in Easthampton, Massachusetts, opens for business on Saturday.

Selling pot on the legal market is proving to be lucrative. But the legal risks—or at least the perceived risks—are keeping away some banks, credit card companies and accountants.

Homeless shelter beds in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Heather Brandon / NEPR

In 2007, Springfield, Massachusetts, set out a plan to end long-term homelessness within 10 years. The following year, officials and advocates from Hamden, Hampshire and Franklin counties came together to craft a similar plan.

From left, Dave Eisenstadter, Dane Kuttler, Bera Dunau and Dusty Christensen after the ballots were counted. All four are supporters of the newly formed Pioneer Valley NewsGuild.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

Employees at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Valley Advocate have voted to unionize. The official vote Wednesday followed lobbying against the effort by the newspapers' parent company.

Members of the Pioneer Valley Arabic Music Ensemble, rehearsing in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

The startup of the Pioneer Valley Arabic Music Ensemble was mentioned in an announcement a few months ago in a western Massachusetts newspaper. No audition was necessary — just an interest, an instrument and a willingness to be directed. 

The Massachusetts Statehouse in April 2017.
William Zhang / Creative Commons

Tuesday on Beacon Hill, the Massachusetts House bid farewell to 18 lawmakers who are leaving office at the end of the year. Among them: two veteran legislators from western Massachusetts.