MA: Pot Taxes Could Hit 20 Percent Under Compromise Bill

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
More than two weeks after blowing their self-imposed deadline to create a marijuana bill, state representatives and senators reached a compromise that would tax pot by as much as 20 percent.

A committee of three state reps and three state senators had been working to merge House and Senate bills with significant differences. The tax amount was a major point of contention, with the Senate bill calling for a tax of 10 to 12 percent while the House bill looked for a tax of up to 28 percent.

The bill, which still needs the approval of Gov. Charlie Baker, will place a 6.25 sales tax and a 10.75 excise tax on marijuana. And it will allow individual cities and towns to levy their own 3 percent tax.

"At the end of the day, the most important thing for us is to roll this market out," said state Sen. Will Brownsberger, (D-Watertown). "A little bit higher tax rate will help us do that."

Officials also differed on whether local officials would be able to ban pot sales in their towns or if they would have to put bans to a public vote. The compromise bill splits the difference -- if residents of a town approved the 2016 ballot question legalizing pot, any ban proposal would also have to go on a local ballot question. But if residents voted against legalization, than their local officials can ban sales on their own.

"It's a preservation of the voters' voice," said state Sen. Pat Jehlen, (D-Somerville).


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Full Article: Pot taxes could hit 20 percent under compromise bill | Boston Herald
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