Sharply divided panel advances recreational pot bill in Mass.

Credit: Pixabay

BOSTON (AP) – A sharply divided legislative committee has voted to advance a bill that makes major changes to the voter-approved recreational marijuana bill, including higher taxes and more control for local officials over pot shops in their communities.

None of the seven senators on the Legislature’s Marijuana Policy Committee voted in favor of the bill on Wednesday, and some House members also expressed reservations.

Democratic Sen. Patricia Jehlen, the panel’s co-chair, said the bill drafted by the House “assaults the will of the voters.”

The proposal would more than double the current 12 percent tax on recreational marijuana. It was revealed on Thursday that due to a possible drafting error, the compounded tax rate could go as high as 55 percent, higher than any other U.S. state where recreational marijuana is legal.

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