June 14, 2017

Sources: House leaders roll out 18.75 percent tax rate in revised recreational marijuana law regulations

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Sam Doran / State House News Service

The Marijuana Policy Committee was co-chaired by Rep. Mark Cusack and Sen. Patricia Jehlen.

BOSTON — Marijuana sales would be taxed at a maximum rate of 18.75 percent under legislation being developed by the House in preparation for a Thursday vote that would also alter the oversight and local control of an industry legalized by voters last November, according to sources within the Legislature or close to the process.

The new tax structure for recreational marijuana, which would increase the rate by 6.75 points from the maximum 12 percent tax imposed by the ballot law, would put Massachusetts somewhere in the middle of rates among the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana, but far below the ceiling set by Washington where there is a 37 percent sales tax on pot.

The taxes paid by consumers would come in the form of the state’s current 6.25 percent sales tax, a new 6.25 percent excise tax on pot (up from 3.75 percent in the ballot law) and a 6.25 percent local option tax that can be levied by cities and towns that allow dispensaries to open in their communities, according to legislative sources.


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