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Massachusetts Unveils Marijuana Law Compromise to Public

BOSTON (AP) — State House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement Monday on a revamped version of Massachusetts’ voter-approved marijuana law that would allow retail pot sales to be taxed at a maximum 20 percent rate.

The deal was struck following closed-door negotiations by a six-member conference committee tasked with reconciling sharply different approaches to marijuana regulation and taxation. The talks had dragged on well past the June 30 deadline legislative leaders originally set for crafting a compromise.

The bill mostly splits the difference between a House proposal to raise the total tax on marijuana to a mandatory 28 percent and the Senate version, which called for keeping the tax at the maximum 12 percent established by the November ballot question.

The compromise calls for consumers to pay a 10.75 percent excise tax in addition to the state’s regular 6.25 percent sales tax. Cities and towns also would have the option of adding a 3 percent local tax.

Municipalities could temporarily recoup an additional 3 percent of sales through host community agreements signed with marijuana businesses.

Lawmakers also compromised on a dispute over local control of pot shops. [Read more at Boston.com]

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