Amherst supports marijuana tax increase and expansion of cannabis commission

Ballot question legalizing pot received a lot of support in town

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Town of Amherst celebrates changes to the way the community will deal with its recreational pot shops.

Amherst supports lawmakers decision to increase the local sales tax, and add more representation on the cannabis advisory board.

The town supports the 1 percent increase in the local option sales tax, to a maximum of 3 percent.

Amherst Economic Development Director Geoff Kravitz told 22News that the town agrees with lawmakers that the increase in local sales tax on marijuana, will allow municipalities the flexibility to cover any unexpected cost that would be associated with recreational marijuana.

State officials are also increasing the size of their cannabis control commission, which has the job of issuing licenses to retailers that want to sell marijuana products.

UMass student Sophie Glading DiLorenzo told 22News that she thinks recreational marijuana has some benefits.

“I actually think it will stay the same, because I go to UMass, and there are a lot of things that people use at UMass that are 10 times worse than marijuana. So, maybe it will help people actually more than hurt,” DiLorenzo said.

Support for recreational marijuana is strong in Amherst. This past November, 74 percent of Amherst residents voted in favor of ballot question 4, which legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.