In 2016, Massachusetts became one of the first few states in the nation to legalize marijuana use for adults. At the time the law passed, voters approved the sale of recreational cannabis with 12 percent tax. Massachusetts House of Representatives overhauled the bill and approved a 28 percent tax on cannabis. The newest version of the bill caps the tax at between 17 and 20 percent.
What to Expect of the Cannabis Market Going Forth
Last month, Governor Charlie Baker signed a new bill into law that allows counties to sell cannabis to people aged 21 or older at 17 to 20 percent. Though he has stated he does not support the legalization of marijuana, he vowed to honor his constituents’ votes and find a compromise with the tax rate to keep the program moving forward. Recreational cannabis must now be taxed at a minimum of 17 percent, though cities and towns may choose to implement an additional three-percent tax if they so choose. Medical marijuana will remain untaxed.
More Regulation to Come
With the tax issue resolved for now, the Governor and Congress will have to tackle potency regulations next. These will apply primarily to edible cannabis products. They are expected to vote on this in the next couple of months via a five-member commission based on guidance from the Cannabis Advisory Board. This new legislation also offers the opportunity for those convicted of possession of small amounts of marijuana prior to legalization to have their criminal records sealed. Recreational cannabis shops are slated to open for business in July 2018.