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Advocate Wants Massachusetts Communities That Ban Pot Shops to Lose Tax Revenue

A marijuana advocate in Massachusetts wants towns and cities that ban recreation marijuana shops to get none of the tax revenue.

In towns such as Medfield residents are voting against opening such shops. Milford was the latest to add its name to the list two weeks ago.

"It's really not going to be a viable market unless we do something like this," said Kamani Jefferson, president of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, who is floating the idea to the State House.

So far, the idea is in its infancy stage. No legislation has been drafted and Jefferson has yet to find a State House sponsor for a bill.

"Next legislation session starts in January, so, we're looking to hopefully get something going by then," said Jefferson.

A similar piece of legislation was drafted by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, but it was later amended.

Instead of hurting cities and towns that ban, "assistance funding" would go to the towns that allow pot sales.

"I think whether you apply an incentive or a disincentive, it's important for communities to understand that there are economic benefits and social benefits to having cannabis commerce in their communities," said Will Luzier, political director of Yes on 4 Coalition.

Geoff Beckwith, the executive director of Massachusetts Municipal Association, calls Jefferson's plan is a "ridiculous idea" and a "punitive campaign ploy."

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