Massachusetts Marijuana Home Growers Beware! [OPINION]
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is proposing a ban on the home growing of medical marijuana in her state. Massachusetts growers should be concerned, too.
I have been concerned that the government in Massachusetts and the recreational marijuana industry will eventually target their competition. The retail marijuana businesses and the state and local governments are partners and have grand expectations of the money that pot will bring them.
The state of Rhode Island understands they are losing money when people grow marijuana at home rather than buy it in a government-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Unlike Massachusetts, Rhode Island charges taxes on the sale of medical marijuana. According to WPRI 12, "medical patients pay the 7% sales tax on compassion center purchases, and the businesses pay a 4% surcharge."
Currently, Rhode Island doesn't allow the sale or home growing of recreational marijuana. That may change in the future as Gov. Raimondo is proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in her state.
The governor is proposing the state forbid the home-growing of marijuana for recreational use and in most cases medical marijuana, too. Those hardship cases who would still be allowed to grow their medicine would have their legal plant limit slashed from 12 plants to six plants.
One of the results of this plan will be to drive medical and recreational marijuana consumers to the state-sanctioned stores in Rhode Island. The owners of the state-sanctioned stores will not have to compete against home growers and the state will reap the tax dollars from their partners in the business.
How much longer will the state of Massachusetts allow home growers of marijuana to compete with their partners in the industry and avoid paying the local and state taxes?
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.