While Gov. Governor Charlie Baker has promised to implement Massachusetts’ recreational marijuana law “briskly,” State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said she wants to delay the January 2018 target date for adult-use shops to open and would like to increase the 3.75% marijuana sales tax.
Goldberg’s view is important because – under the recreational marijuana initiative that Massachusetts voters approved 54%-46% – the treasurer is responsible for managing the state’s marijuana industry, including appointing the three members of a Cannabis Control Commission, The Boston Globe reported.
The treasurer believes a tax hike is necessary to ensure the state can effectively monitor the industry and also have some reserve funds, according to the Globe.
Goldberg’s office has begun its search for a software company to provide seed-to-sale tracking and other tech services by publishing a “Request for Qualifications” before Tuesday’s elections, the Statehouse News Service reported. She expects to receive responses by January or February.
Baker, an opponent of legalized recreational marijuana, vowed to oversee a “responsible and timely” rollout of the new law because “the people spoke and we’re going to honor that,” according to the Telegram & Gazette. He also noted that when he took office in 2014 – two years after Massachusetts passed medical marijuana – no dispensaries were open. Now, seven are in operation.