Joint Marijuana Committee Approves Sweeping Rewrite of Medical and Adult Use Laws

The Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy today voted to advance, over objection and disapproval, a bill that repeals the 2012 Medical Marijuana law and 2016 Adult Use laws in Massachusetts — both passed by referendum — in their entirety. Our summary of the major points can be viewed by clicking this link House Bill Summary.

In its place, a House Bill sent out of committee imposes many changes including a 28% tax rate (up from 12%) on adult use licensees; takes regulatory control of the industry away from both DPH (medical) and the State Treasurer (adult use) in favor of an independent commission; increases the ability of municipalities to prohibit cannabis businesses by vote of elected officials; repeals the requirement that medical licensees be not-for-profit corporations; and imposes restrictive limitations on any overlap in investment sources, operational services, or management among different licensees. Please see a link to our more detailed summary above.

The Bill, while now referred out of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy with a favorable vote, was viewed skeptically by some members of the Committee who promised there will be amendments. Committee Co-Chair Sen. Patricia Jehlen panned the bill as a gift to black market operators and an insult to voters who approved much different language.

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