Local lawmakers reach agreement on how to tax recreational marijuana

BOSTON (WHDH) - After weeks of closed door conference meetings, the state senate and house have agreed on how to regulate and tax recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.

One of the biggest sticking points was how much to tax marijuana. The final number is a max of 23 percent, almost double what was on the ballot.

The breakdown is the tax is 17 percent, plus a three percent local option and a three percent host agreement. The final six percent is optional, but it is in there to make cities and towns more likely to accent pot shops.

Town officials would only ban pot shops in their community if a majority of voters were against the legislation last November. In cities or towns where voters were in favor, it would take another public vote to ban pot shops.

Marijuana advocates say the deal reached Monday isn’t perfect but it is progress.

The governor still has to sign the bill before it becomes a law, but says if the numbers add up, he is fine with it.

“If it’s what it takes to cover the cost of administering and managing the program,” said Governor Charlie Baker, “that would be fine with us.”

The big issue now is when dispensaries will start selling recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.

A lawmaker told 7News the dispensaries will open in July of 2018.


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