State House, Senate bills differ on tax rate for marijuana

House and Senate bills propose different tax rates for pot sales.

BOSTON (WWLP) – State lawmakers are pushing to get a bill to revise Massachusetts’ pot laws to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk by the end of the month. Now with less than 2 weeks left, lawmakers rolled out a new proposal.

The state’s Marijuana Policy Committee voted on Monday to move forward on a redrafted House bill to revise the marijuana law that was approved by voters in November.

This comes less than a week after the committee reported favorably on a previous House bill, but Speaker Robert DeLeo pulled the proposal from House debate last week.

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Under the House bill, pot sales would be taxed at 28 percent. The bill saw push-back from senators on the committee, leading the Senate to move ahead with a bill of their own with a 12 percent tax rate.

But this doesn’t mean the 28 percent rate is a done deal.

“The total taxation is a big difference between the House and the Senate,” State Rep. Michael Finn told 22News. “I think in conference, that’ll get reconciled down to something I think that’ll be palatable for everybody.”

The House is expected to debate the bill on Wednesday.