The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, proposed more than a year ago by Reps. Ellen Story ( D-Amherst ), Ruth Balser ( D-Newton ), Lori Ehrlich ( D-Marblehead ), and Ann Gobi ( D-Spencer ), finally gets a hearing Tuesday afternoon before the Judiciary Committee, which will have just two weeks to make a recommendation on it before the biennial bill-reporting deadline.
The bill ( H 1371 ) creates industry licensing, regulation and taxation standards, and establishes a Cannabis Control Authority comprised of seven members and with an initial appropriation of $2.5 million. It leaves in place penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana.
The bill’s preamble states that the legislation acknowledges that “100 years of criminalization in Massachusetts has failed to stop the production, distribution and use of marihuana, and that sustained enforcement efforts cannot reasonably be expected to accomplish that goal.”
It states that the bill seeks to “eliminate prohibition-related crime and to raise new tax revenue” while “promoting new jobs and industries in commercial cannabis and hemp” and “respecting the personal autonomy of adults, where freedom supposes responsibility.”
The Judiciary Committee plans a 1 p.m. hearing on the bill Tuesday.