Whether you call them grandmothers, grandmoms, grandmas, nanas or mom-moms and please, tell me which one you prefer, as my midwestern colleagues were surprised by the local use of "grandmom" seniors in New Jersey are hopping aboard the medical marijuana train. They're fighting through stigma to fight pain. On the other side of the river (well, when they're not practicing in Camden) the Sixers have big news: they've hired a new general manager. Just in time for training camp, too.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Be prepared to part with your preconceived notions about medical marijuana. In New Jersey at least, where it’s been legal for eight years, a small but growing number of patients are seniors, some in their 80s and 90s.

And they are "patients, not criminals.," as Gov. Murphy said when he announced an expansion of the state's medical marijuana program this spring.

So, thanks to cannabis educators and doctors, some seniors are throwing away the stigma and finding relief from pain.

After a bit of a search, the Sixers stayed in-house for their new general manager, hiring their own vice president of basketball operations, Elton Brand, to fill the role.

The hire follows the strange saga of former GM Bryan Colangelo, who stepped down this summer over a Twitter scandal as part of the Sixers' wild offseason.

Meanwhile, injured rookie Zhaire Smith is expected to return around Christmas and Ben Simmons is apparently working on his jump shot with his brother.

The latest tally of Kensington’s homeless population stunned the city’s Office of Homeless Services. Just a year ago it totaled 271. Now it’s 703.

The spike in homelessness is driven by the opioid crisis; the neighborhood has become a magnet for people in addiction.

But officials say the increase isn't due to the city closing heroin encampments in the area. In the mean time, residents are growing frustrated by the city's outreach efforts.

What you need to know today

  • Philadelphia's long-criticized civil forfeiture program, which allowed prosecutors to seize the cash and property of suspected criminals —  and in some cases from people never charged with a crime — is about to be overhauled thanks to a court settlement.
  • For the first time in nearly two decades, the Philadelphia School District's governing body will have a student presence in the form of two high school seniors. And they'll be doing real work, too.
  • Every month, a West Philly barbershop has been holding a town hall between community members and law enforcement. Not only does it have a great name, but it's sparking engaging conversations.
  • Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980s, is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. But first, her lawyers say, she wants the FBI to investigate.
  • Comcast has added Newsmax TV, a conservative channel owned by a friend of President Trump, to Xfinity. The move could both appease some of Comcast's critics on the right while fighting Fox News' market share.
  • A long, long time ago, a Trump Tower Philadelphia was planned for the Delaware River waterfront. Now that land is set to be developed, but into townhomes instead of a tower.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

What a juxtaposition of images, @kvankreisel.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting


September 19, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
September 19, 2018
"Ultimately, I believe the best ways to make a significant reduction in poverty are to improve educational and economic opportunities, and to empower residents with the resources they need to get family-sustaining jobs." — Mayor Kenney on last week's U.S. Census Bureau report on Philadelphia's poverty rates.

What we’re reading

A pen made by John Greco of GW Pens in Woodstown, Salem County. It includes wood from the USS Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” first launched in 1797.
AKIRA SUWA / For The Inquirer.
A pen made by John Greco of GW Pens in Woodstown, Salem County. It includes wood from the USS Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” first launched in 1797.

Your Daily Dose of | Penmanship

Would you buy a $2,000 pen? Artisan pen maker John Greco has earned international acclaim for crafting tools for Barack Obama, Prince Harry, and Pope Francis from his New Jersey workshop.