Here’s Greg Reibman’s column about the potential fiscal impact of a proposed ban on recreational marijuana stores here, as it appears on the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber’s website.
A ballot referendum that would ban the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana in Newton would result in the loss of millions of dollars annually in local tax revenue, according to city projections.
Given the nascent nature of the marijuana industry, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much revenue could be on the table. However, the revenue from a three percent local recreational marijuana tax and up to three percent in local host agreements could yield over $2 million and perhaps more, said Jonathan Yeo, chief operating officer for the City of Newton.
“These new dollars could potentially equal or exceed the [$1.95 million] Newton now collects annually from the local meals taxes from 400 restaurants,” Yeo said.
It will be a (virtual) smoke-filled room Thursday Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. when the Newton City Council holds an all-marijuana special meeting to weed through an bouquet of cannabis-related docket items:
City Council President Marc Laredo released this memo today regarding the fate of the proposed ballot question that would ban on recreational marijuana store in Newton (including a twist in terms of when the referendum might be held).
To: City Council
From: President Laredo
Re: Process regarding possible ballot questions relating to a ban or limit on the number of retail marijuana outlets in Newton
Date: August 28, 2018
Under the new marijuana law, Newton must issue at least eight licenses for retail marijuana establishments (one-quarter of the number of liquor licenses) unless the voters give the City Council the authority to ban or otherwise limit the number of retail marijuana outlets in Newton to fewer than eight. In July, we passed a measure to place on the November ballot the question of whether Newton should limit the number of such establishments to 2-4 (with the exact number to be left to the Council’s discretion), but