Senate Draft of Massachusetts Cannabis Legalization Bill Keeps 12% Tax – News

Late last week, the Massachusetts Senate released a draft of a bill to that would replace the voter-approved measure legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. This draft of the bill proposes capping the tax on recreational weed at 12%, the same amount that was approved via the ballot measure. Earlier in the week, the state House proposed their own version of the bill, which would have raised that rate to 28%. This version of the bill drew so much criticism that House leaders pulled the bill before it could even be debated.

Pat Jehlen, chair of the Senate Marijuana Policy Committee, said that her chamber’s version of the bill kept the lower tax rate out of respect for voters’ wishes. “One of the problems we face in this country is a lack of trust in government,” she said. “The Senate bill preserves the will of voters.” The Senator also said that high taxes would lead to high retail costs, which would send some recreational buyers to the black market for cheaper weed. “The illegal market thrives if there are high taxes and low access,” she said.

The state Legislature has already agreed to delay the rollout of retail marijuana stores until July 1st, 2018. Lawmakers…

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