Back in November, the voters in favor of legalized Marijuana went on to vote and achieve the feat. However, there was a lot to be decided, the laws, the regulations, the distribution, and a lot more. Massachusetts was to open up hearings regarding the changes that were to be incorporated, but the date has been delayed at the request of the voters.
Those that voted in favor of legalized marijuana recently appealed that the changes should be held off for a while. This appeal was put forward in the initial public hearing. The appeal not only asked the panel to postpone the hearings for a while, but also requested to impede any changes in the current medical marijuana laws. This has been refused, though.
It was promised by the leaders of the House and Senate that they will respect the electorate’s will. Despite the statement, the advocates of MMJ are quite disappointed and angered by the said leaders: the reason being that the House and Senate authorities have revealed their own will of elevating the current tax rate regarding the sales of marijuana. In addition to that, the officials also plan on altering the ability of local officials in keeping pot shops beyond the boundaries of their communities. Other alterations include limiting the potency of marijuana. This is only a minute part of the restrictions state officials will impose—something that has enraged the medical marijuana advocates.
Yes on 4—the group in charge of leading the ballot initiative—proposed the idea of a hands-off approach. That is, of course, until a regulatory board—Cannabis Control Commission—is in place.
As per the current decision, the legislature has been deferred to the mid of the year 2018. It can, however, be delayed even further. There are several other bills related to medical marijuana. While some of them talk about making a few minute changes, others suggest turning the MMJ laws over in their entirety. However, it is quite unlikely that the current laws will be completely changed.
The current taxes on MMJ in Massachusetts are comprised of different elements that add up to a total of 12% tax which is in high contrast with taxes imposed in states like Washington D.C.—37% tax. Oregon and Colorado have 35% and 29% taxes respectively.
The current tax rate of Massachusetts has led to raising questions among the state officials. They are concerned that with this tax rate, it would be unable to bear the costs required to regulate recreational marijuana.
Those in favor of this relatively lower tax rates argue that it is the reason why consumers would care to visit legal marijuana establishments in the first place. This will greatly help in barring the illegal dealers from selling marijuana. Under the current tax rate of 12%, the state will see an influx of $64 million and $132 million in the first and the second years respectively.
People like Paul and Dorothy Connors who are users of MMJ are very concerned about the possible change in the laws regarding this drug.