BOSTON (WWLP) – Top state leaders are already thinking about ways to tighten the new recreational marijuana law to make sure all sales are taxed and that people, especially children, are safe.
The lucrative marijuana industry is coming to Massachusetts. It will be at least another year before retail stores open up, but top state leaders are already contemplating changes to the recreational marijuana law.
Governor Charlie Baker told 22News he is leaving that debate to the House and Senate; “There have been a bunch of issues around public health and public safety and local control that have come up over the course of the conversation and I would expect that these guys would be dealing with those as a part of the conversation.”
The recreational marijuana law took effect last Thursday allowing adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of the drug outside of the home. It is prohibited to use marijuana in public and to sell pot without a license.
The law also places a 10% tax on the sale of recreational pot. Top Democrats are worried the sales tax is too low. Washington State taxes marijuana at 37-percent, Colorado 29-percent.
22News asked House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) what the tax rate should be. He said, “I don’t have an ideal number. I think that’s probably one of the major questions that we’re going to deal with – I think the biggest question that I have heard.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he doesn’t want to set the tax so high that it fuels illegal sales or so low that it cheats the state out of much needed revenue.
State lawmakers are also considering raising the legal marijuana smoking age to 25 when the human brain is fully developed.