State lawmakers reach compromise recreational marijuana bill

A six member committee agreed on a 20 percent tax on retail pot sales.

BOSTON (WWLP) –  State House and Senate negotiators have come to a compromise on a bill regulating recreational marijuana.

A six-member conference committee came to an agreement Monday at the State House, amending the state’s recreational marijuana law. They compromised on a bill that would alter the tax of recreational marijuana and communities’ control of pot shops.

The state lawmakers agreed on a 20 percent tax on retail pot sales.

Read more: Marijuana News

This comes after the House’s initial proposal of a 28 percent tax and the Senate version of the bill, which called to keep the tax at a maximum of 12 percent.

House and Senate negotiators also agreed to make it easier to ban pot shops in towns that voted against it. Seven communities in western Massachusetts voted ‘No’ to recreational marijuana in back in November, including: West Springfield, Agawam, Ludlow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Hampden, and Longmeadow.

Communities that voted against it, would not need to hold a referendum.

Local residents share mixed feelings about 20% tax on marijuana

A referendum would still be required to ban retail marijuana stores in cities and towns that backed Question 4 on the November ballot. Every community in Hampshire and Franklin county approved it.

The bill now goes to the House and the Senate for a vote. If it passes, it’ll then go to the governor’s desk for final approval.