WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We are less than a month away until it becomes legal to possess, smoke and grow marijuana in Massachusetts. State lawmakers have different ideas on how to spend the marijuana money, but they all agree the tax rate could go higher.
Starting on December 15th, adults over 21 years old will be allowed to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and grow up to six plants at home. Commercial retail sales won’t begin until 2018, and lawmakers haven’t finalized taxes.
“Certain states are exploring higher levels,” said Senator Eric Lesser, “I think we want to study that, get some input, and see what the appropriate amount would be to fund and support the services we need in our state.”
Under the current proposal, a small bag of marijuana will be taxed at almost 12%; less than half the rate in Colorado.
- 6.25% state sales tax
- 3.75% excise tax to oversee and regulate marijuana operations
- 2% for the city where it’s sold
If the weed tax goes over 12%, the state will decide where that money goes. State Representative Joseph Wagner told 22News, “I think we ought to take the money and put it toward health care initiatives and offset some of those costs.”
Senator Lesser wants weed money to fund addiction recovery services and road and transportation improvement. Colorado currently taxes marijuana at 25%.