Taxing and regulating marijuana in Massachusetts

Springfield has a temporary ban on pot shops

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Voters approved question 4 back in November to legalize recreational marijuana.

But it also set off a series of contentious debates on how to tax and regulate the industry.

Governor Baker signed off on changes to the law on Friday that would raise the maximum tax to 20 percent including the option for a 3 percent local tax.

The changes also give cities and towns more control over the retail sale of marijuana in pot shops.

Gov. Baker signs final marijuana bill into law

For communities that voted to approve recreational marijuana in November, they would need a voter referendum to ban pot shops.

If a city or town did not vote to approve recreational marijuana then municipal leaders can put in place a ban. Springfield has a temporary ban on pot shops.

“In Colorado, all the taxes they got back went to the community so they were able to make a better community for the town from legalizing pot, which should be what they do around here,” said Tesfaye Bihonegne of Springfield.

East Longmeadow and Wilbraham have already voted to ban pot shops.