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Massachusetts Lawmakers Still Working on Marijuana Law

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Massachusetts lawmakers are still working on a compromise for the state’s recreational marijuana law. The self-imposed deadline was June 30, but lawmakers failed to reach an agreement beforehand. The final bill did not make it to Governor Baker’s desk, but negotiations will resume this week.

There wasn’t much progress made by the six-member committee on Friday either, according to CBS Local Boston. The meetings were held behind closed doors. They are, reportedly, making progress.

A spokesperson for Patricia Jehlen said that negotiations are to pick back up on July 5.

Representative Mark Cusack says he is hopeful that a compromise would be made. The conference committee seems deadlocked for the time being.

The House voted to repeal and replace the law that would increase the sales tax on recreational marijuana sales. They wanted to bump it up to 28-percent. The House version also gives local jurisdictions authority over banning or allowing recreational marijuana businesses in their local communities.

The Senate wants to keep the voter-approved law in place, still with a few revisions. The Senate wants to keep the 12-percent tax in place. It also wants to let voters decide where recreational marijuana stores can open and where they can’t.

Marijuana activists call the House version an “assault on the will of the voters”. Activists support the Senate’s version of revisions.

Jim Borghesani said, “As we’ve said all along, the legalization measure passed by 1.8-million voters requires no fixes.”

If the House and Senate can’t come to an agreement, the law the voters approved will stay in effect.