On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters passed Initiative Petition 15-37, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. The Act: legalizes the possession of one (1) ounce or fewer of marijuana for people age twenty-one (21) and older and the personal possession of ten (10) ounces and not more than twelve (12) plants cultivated in a person’s primary residence for personal use; establishes a Cannabis Control Commission with the authority to license, regulate and tax retail recreational marijuana establishments “in a manner similar to alcohol;” places certain limits on the authority of municipalities to regulate retail operations through local zoning; sets a maximum tax rate of 12% on marijuana establishments (6.25% state sales tax; 3.75% state excise tax; and 2% local tax); and establishes deadlines for the Cannabis Control Commission to promulgate regulations, accept applications for operation of marijuana establishments (including retail, product testing, production and cultivation facilities), and to issue licenses.
- Allows registered medical marijuana dispensaries to operate as retail, marijuana product manufacturing or cultivators on the same premises.
- Allows licensed marijuana businesses under the state’s medical marijuana law to apply for retail, product manufacturing, and cultivation licenses on October 1, 2017.
- Requires applications from all other proposed businesses to be accepted either January 1, 2018 or October 1, 2018.
- Allows cities and towns to pass commercially reasonable local zoning ordinances, but not to prohibit marijuana establishments without a citywide or town wide vote.
Click here to download a detailed summary of the Act.