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Marijuana Legalization & Taxation

Is the Commonwealth Ready to Act?

News Staff

July 09, 2009  (02:39:18 EST)

Along with a few other progressive states, Massachusetts legislation has recently begun to swing towards more more liberal legislation regarding personal choice issues. With marijuana now decriminalized, the prediction that others will move the issue forward, towards full legalization (and taxation), was not far behind.

Currently, two bills, both titled: "An Act to regulate and tax the cannabis industry", (House No. 2929,filed 1/16/2009, and a virtually identical bill in the Senate, No. 1801, also filed 1/16/2009).

Very well drafted, and making it very attractive for the State to garner quite a bit of revenue in the form of Excise & Use Tax stamps, license fees, and import / export fees, there aren't many who would argue taking the lucrative profits out of illegal distribution channels and funneling it to mainsteam tax base is not a bad idea.

The act consists of 45 sections, proposed to be known officially as "The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act", (of whatever year it is enacted), and slated to be coded as M.G.L. Ch 13A.

Aside from the taxation aspects, the bill could see some profit from a small boost in employment as those who have operated in the illegal operation form new Massachusetts businesses.

Other interesting aspect of the act regard warning notices, use in advertising, potential health risks, medical testing, and purity and grading specifications.

The act proposes 100% purity and that cannabis be graded as Class A, Class B, Class C, based on percent of THC, (10%+, 5-10%, and less than 5%). The act also specifies penalties to anyone who uses chemical additives, or otherwise tamper with the 100% purity or grading certification.

It's an interesting read to say the least, below is the opening declaration of the act:

"The governor and the representatives of the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging that previous efforts have not succeeded in eliminating or curtailing marijuana use and abuse; determined to exercise some measure of control over the use of cannabis consistent with respect for individual freedom and responsibility; and declaring our objectives to be the reduction of cannabis abuse, the elimination of marijuana-related crime and the raising of public revenue, do hereby ordain and enact The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act."

You can read the bills in their entirety at:
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