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Marijuana Committee Reaches Deal On Taxes, Local Control

Marijuana plants are harvested and hung in a processing facility in Franklin. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Marijuana plants are harvested and hung in a processing facility in Franklin. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A group of state lawmakers has reached a compromise on changes to the state's recreational marijuana law.

The legislators have been trying for a few weeks to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The compromise unveiled Monday afternoon will allow for a tax rate of 17 percent (the 6.25 percent state sales tax plus a 10.75 percent excise tax), with an optional additional 3 percent local tax.

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The House had proposed a 28 percent total tax rate; the Senate kept the tax rate capped at 12 percent — the rate outlined in the voter-approved law.

Jim Borghesani, with the group that pushed for legalization, said he's satisfied with the 20 percent compromise.

"The hope is that it's low enough that it's not going to encourage the black market, but it's high enough that it's going to fund the initiative," he said.

The compromise measure also gives some communities the ability to ban marijuana businesses.

If your city or town voted yes on the statewide marijuana ballot question in November, a local referendum is needed to ban pot businesses.

If your municipality voted no on Question 4, the community can ban marijuana businesses through the vote of a local governing authority.

Votes on the bill are expected later this week.

With reporting by WBUR's Steve Brown

The map below includes unofficial Election Night results. For the final certified results, go to the secretary of state's website

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