Summary of The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act

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.

Other Highlights:

  • 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.









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