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State Lawmaker Proposes Taxing Medical Marijuana

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A state senator wants to impose Massachusetts’ 6.25 percent sales tax on medical marijuana purchases and assess soon-to-be opened dispensaries a 4 percent surcharge on their revenues.

Sen. Brian Joyce, a Democrat from Milton, proposes money generated from the marijuana taxes be designated to a new state fund for substance abuse treatment programs. The amendments are among hundreds filed by senators in advance of Wednesday’s start of debate in the Senate on a House-approved $36 billion state budget.

But Matthew Allen, of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, says it would be “inappropriate” to impose taxes on medicine chronically sick patients need. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine subject medical marijuana to the sales tax. New Hampshire does not have a sales tax and Vermont has not said it will tax the drug.

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