BOSTON – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker today, July 28, signed bipartisan legislation to update state laws governing the cultivation, sale, and adult use of marijuana following a voter-approved ballot question in 2016. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were joined by several legislators at a signing ceremony at the State House to enact H. 3818, An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana.
“We appreciate the careful consideration the legislature took to balance input from lawmakers, educators, public safety officials and public health professionals, while honoring the will of the voters regarding the adult use of marijuana,” said Gov. Baker. “We look forward to appointing members of the Cannabis Control Commission and the Cannabis Advisory Board to join us in working with Treasurer Goldberg, Attorney General Healey, local officials, law enforcement and all other stakeholders involved to implement the enhanced law safely and responsibly throughout the Commonwealth.”
Highlights from H. 3818:
- This law outlines the ability of cities and towns to exercise local control to ban or limit the development of marijuana establishments to address municipal concerns.
- Sets the special excise tax on adult use marijuana sales to 10.75% to support the costs of regulating the industry and to fund initiatives in public health, public safety, police training, restorative justice and workforce development.
o There is a local option for cities and towns to add a 3% tax on top of the combined 17% between sales and the marijuana specific excise tax.
o Medical marijuana will remain untaxed.
- Establishes a 5 member Cannabis Control Commission to regulate both the adult use and medical marijuana industries consisting of one appointee each from the Governor, Treasurer and Attorney General. The remaining two members will be agreed upon by the majority of those 3 constitutional officers.
- Establishes a 25 member Cannabis Advisory Board with 5 appointees each from the Governor, Treasurer and Attorney General. The remaining 10 appointees are ex officio appointees with expertise and knowledge relevant to the Board’s mission.
- Establishes requirement that the Cannabis Control Commission set potency limits for edible marijuana products and that it adopt packaging requirements that conform to a detailed list of health and safety protections.
Click here to read the bill.