Medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts would be subject to a 4% surcharge on revenues under a plan introduced by a local lawmaker.
The legislator – Sen. Brian Joyce, D-Milton – is also seeking to assess the state’s standard 6.25% sales tax on transactions involving medical cannabis, edibles and other infused products.
The moves would boost the cost of medical cannabis and could limit participation in the state’s MMJ program, as patients might stick with the black market if prices are too high. Advocates plan to fight the proposal, with one local group saying that taxing “sick and suffering patients is just wrong.”
Most states with medical cannabis laws assess some type of tax on the industry, though the proposed rates in Massachusetts are somewhat higher than in other markets.
Lawmakers also are looking to address the state’s controversial licensing process, which could delay the opening of the state’s first dispensaries.
Joyce is seeking the creation of a three-member “cannabis commission” to handle licensing and oversight of dispensaries. Another lawmaker has proposed that the state inspector general investigate the entire licensing process.