Informal Talks on Revamped Marijuana Bill Stall - NBC10 Boston

Informal Talks on Revamped Marijuana Bill Stall

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    Talks on Marijuana Bill Stall

    Massachusetts lawmakers could not reach an agreement to vote on a revamped marijuana bill Friday.

    (Published Friday, June 30, 2017)

    Informal negotiations between Massachusetts lawmakers on Friday stalled as the midnight deadline to file their revisions to the marijuana legalization measure approached, which is the end of the fiscal year 2017.

    A spokesperson for House Speaker Robert DeLeo said lawmakers adjourned for the day by 4 p.m., preventing a vote from being taken. However, lawmakers with the conference committee are expected to continue their discussions over the weekend, and if a deal is struck, there would not be a vote until Monday.

    The chair of the Joint Committe on Marijuana Policy, Representative Mark Cusack, didn't comment as he entered the negotiating room Friday morning.

    NBC Boston also saw other members of the committee enter another room. The committee's discussions are not open to the public.

    The bipartisan House and Senate committee has been working on a compromise bill to the recreational marijuana ballot measure approved by voters in the fall.

    Lawmakers and Gov. Charlie Baker had postponed implementation of the law so it could be adjusted.

    Since then, the House and Senate passed their own legislation on how marijuana should be regulated in the Bay State.

    Some of the sticking points are:

    - The tax rate of pot.

    - Whether or not cities and towns could ban pot shops.

    - Who would make up the states cannabis commission.

    Supporters of the marijuana legislation are against lawmakers efforts to adjust the law approved by voters.

    The state budget is dependent on this item, and once it's handled the budget can be determined. If lawmakers come to an agreement and file a bill, the earliest they can vote would be Saturday.

    If they don't, the provisions in the law voted in by residents stands.

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