Massachusetts to Garner Up to $172 Million in Annual Taxes From Marijuana Sales By 2020

Massachusetts is set to receive a large influx of annual tax money from marijuana sales once the industry gets underway, according to the Department of Revenue.

According to the department, the state will receive up to $172 million in annual tax revenue from legal marijuana sales by 2020. Voters legalized cannabis last year, but cannabis retail outlets aren’t expected to be open until next year.

The numbers are based on a 12% tax rate; this includes the standard 6.25% sales tax, a 3.75% excise tax and a 2% city-wide tax. Nevada lawmakers may still raise this to a higher tax rate, however. According to the department, if lawmakers raise the excise tax from 3.75% to 5%, the state would garner an additional $11 million in annual taxes.

Read moreMassachusetts to Garner Up to $172 Million in Annual Taxes From Marijuana Sales By 2020

Massachusetts Governor Signs Bill Delaying Opening of Cannabis Retail Outlets

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Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has signed into law a bill that delays the opening of cannabis retail outlets.

On November 8th Massachusetts voters gave approval to Question 4 to legalize cannabis. The initiative allows those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis (10 ounces at a private residence) and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. The measure also authorizes a regulated system of cannabis retail outlets.

The way the initiative was written, these outlets were expected to be open by January, 2018; roughly a year from now. The new law delays this by at least six months; this means the soonest these outlets can open is July, 2018.

According to the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, which held a protest at the State House, the delay; “not only flies in the face of the will of the voters who voted for the January 2018 deadline; it shows contempt for the legislature itself, having been passed, not after three readings to the full House and Senate, but in the course of less than an hour by just two senators and five representatives”.

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With No Public Input Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Opening of Cannabis Outlets

By David Ingram, Reuters

Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday pushed through a surprise six-month delay in the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use, saying they needed more time to tinker with a legalization measure that voters approved last month.

Meeting during a holiday-shortened week, the state’s House and Senate voted to push back the licensing of cannabis shops from Jan. 1, 2018, until July 1 that year, according to a copy of the legislation posted online.

The delay frustrated those who championed a Nov. 8 ballot measure, easily approved by voters, to allow use of the drug by adults 21 and older in private places.

Read moreWith No Public Input Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Opening of Cannabis Outlets