CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Recreational marijuana may be legal for adults in Massachusetts, but lawmakers are still trying to figure out who will be in charge of regulating and enforcing the new law.
A legislative committee created to review and make changes to the state’s new recreational marijuana law will hold their final hearing at the statehouse on Monday. Lawmakers are faced with several bills, all looking to alter the new law passed by voters in November.
Multiple bills want to change the makeup of the Cannabis Control Commission. It’s the group responsible for approving licenses to retail marijuana stores. As it stands now, it’s a three member commission and it mirrors the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
Some opposers would like to increase the tax on marijuana, which stands at 10%, but doesn’t include additional taxes that cities and towns could impose.
Joe Sibilia of Springfield told 22News, “I think the more you tax it, the greater opportunity there is to keep it underground and keep the criminal element engaged. The less you tax it, then it’s going to be affordable.”
Legislators are expected to decide whether to keep the commission under the state’s control or make it more independent, like the state’s Gaming Commission.
The Legislature’s Marijuana Committee will deliver their final recommendations to lawmakers by June.