Work on compromise for marijuana bill put on hold

House Speaker Robert DeLeo suspended negotiations on marijuana reform

BOSTON (WWLP) – Lawmakers were hoping to get a final marijuana bill to the governor’s desk by the end of June, but a final proposal has yet to come out. They’re continuing to work toward compromise on two contrasting proposals from the House and Senate.

The state’s six member conference committee, tasked with compromising on a final proposal to revise the state’s marijuana ballot law, hit a roadblock on Wednesday when House Speaker Robert DeLeo suspended negotiations until a state budget is complete.

But reaching a final agreement won’t be easy with the two chambers disagreeing on how much to tax pot sales. The House plan calls for a 28 percent tax, doubling the Senate’s maximum 12 percent tax rate.

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“The Senate is really focused on the fact that it was mandated by the voters,” State Sen. Richard Ross told 22News. “And we’re trying to keep it as intact and essentially the same as was given to us.”

With the state budget close to reaching the governor’s desk, one committee member said they are expecting to resume negotiations soon.