Mass. senate proposal holds line on marijuana taxes

BOSTON — State senators are unveiling a new recreational marijuana proposal that would not raise taxes and gives local voters the power to decide if pot shops should be banned from their communities.

The proposal, released in summary form on Friday, is in contrast with a House bill released earlier this week that would increase the tax on retail sales of recreational marijuana from 12 percent to 28 percent. The House version would also change the current voter-approved law by giving local governing bodies the authority to ban marijuana sales without a referendum.

Sen. Patricia Jehlen, a Somerville Democrat, says the Senate proposal reflects the will of Massachusetts voters.

Lawmakers hope to send a final compromise version of the bill to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk by the end of the month.

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