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A sharply divided legislative committee in Massachusetts voted Wednesday to advance a bill calling for major changes to the voter-approved recreational marijuana law, including higher taxes on retail sales and handing more control over cannabis shops to municipal officials.
Some lawmakers suggested that as currently written, the proposal would give Massachusetts the highest tax among the eight U.S. states that already have legalized recreational marijuana.
Excessive taxes would discourage people from buying the drug legally and keep illegal marijuana dealers in business, critics said.
The current law calls for a 3.75% excise tax on top of the state’s regular 6.25% sales tax