There is a recent announcement of suspension of negotiations for recreational marijuana rules in Massachusetts. Robert Deleo announced this suspension on Wednesday, July 6th. The Massachusetts House lawmakers are looking to repeal the voter approved initiative and replace it with a much more restrictive version. However, the State Senate looks to only make a few changes to the voter approved initiative. For marijuana advocates in Mass this is rather troubling. Like in many other states, the lawmakers want to restrict the will of the people. Those advocates are fighting back and are led by State Senate leader Stanley Rosenberg. Rosenberg wishes to keep the negotiations on track, however, DeLeo would like to use budget negotiations as his justification for the delay. Rosenberg is confident that the State Senate can negotiate both at the same time.

A measure under duress

At one point lawmakers introduced 90 bills to amend the voter approved initiative. Now 2 members from each chamber are working on a bill with acceptable compromises. Recently Nevada launched recreational sales and the taxes are astronomical. We are certain that marijuana business owners and investors in Mass will want to keep the tax rate reasonable. High taxes mean that patrons spend less in dispensaries and they also deter tourism.

Massachusetts and Maine seem to be leading the charge for legalization on the east coast and that cannot be derailed. If you live in Massachusetts make sure to call, email, or stop by Robert Deleo’s office and let him know what you think of this delay. Whether law makers want it or not, the people continue to vote for legalization. If lawmakers want to slow down our progress we need to let them know that we will vote them out of office. However, there is a twist. If lawmakers don’t come to an agreement, the initiative will pass as it is written. So if DeLeo balks for too long it will bite him in the ass.