This make me feel all warm and fuzzy! I spent 14 of the best years of my life in the bay state and I am so proud that this cannabis regulation and tax act is constructed so well. I am adding Massachusetts to my list of states likely to legalize in 2012. The Legalization Train Rolls On!
(Daily Collegian) Rep. Ellen Story (D-Amherst) introduced a bill to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana to the current session of the Massachusetts General Court last month. Last November, 69 percent of the Third Hampshire District voted in favor of a public policy question instructing her to support such a measure.
The bill, titled “The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act,” was drafted by Richard M. Evans, an attorney from Northampton. The bill would legalize the possession, consumption and sale of marijuana for people over 21 and establish a series of licenses requiring annual fees. A cultivation license would cost $500 per year and enable holders to “possess, propagate, grow and cultivate cannabis and carry on such other horticultural activities as are reasonably required for the commercial cultivation of cannabis.” Growers, however, could only sell to the holder of a processing license. A processing license would cost $1000 and would only allow licensees to obtain marijuana from a cultivator or an importer. Processors would have to make sure each cannabis package had proper tax stamps, warnings about a $5000 fine for driving while under the influence of marijuana and a label indicating each strain’s tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level.
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Processors would also only be able to process marijuana into one ounce packages. They could sell seeds to cultivators if the seed was “capable of producing cannabis preparations having a THC content of more than 0.5 percent.”A third step of regulation would create a stage called trade. People with trade licenses would be able to act as middle men, running warehouses and transporting processed cannabis to stores, for a yearly fee of $3000. Stores would need a retail license, purchased for $2000, and could only sell to “adults not visibly intoxicated or otherwise in such a condition as may present a threat to public safety” and could only sell cannabis indoors and at a location specified by the license. Import licenses would also be available, for $2500 a year, and combined cultivation-processing-retailing licenses would be available for the same amount, as long as the entire production process took place at one location.
Evans, a former National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) board member, said he first wrote the bill in 1981 “under the delusional view that what we needed was a plan.”