NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts voters legalized recreational marijuana more than a year ago, but you still can’t legally buy it.
A five-member Cannabis Control Commission is working to write regulations, so recreational pot shops can be licensed by July. Some residents are wondering why it’s taking so long.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts since last fall, but voters are still unable to walk into a store and buy it.
Adults over 21 can legally possess an ounce of marijuana. Consumption in private is legal.
The commission this week was awarded an additional $2.7 million in funding, giving them a total of $5 million to write regulations and implement the new law.
As required by law the commission hopes to have final regulations in place by March 15. They are working to release proposed regulations by the end of the year and begin issuing licenses for retail marijuana stores by mid-2018.
“Towns actually have the ability to go up to 20 percent for sales tax, and add the extra 3 percent, which could make this a very expensive proposition for people who are interested in purchasing,” said James Winston Esq. of Northampton.
Pot is taxed at 10.75 percent plus the 6.25 percent state sales tax, plus a 3 percent local option tax.
The commission said it will schedule public hearings around the state in early February.