Pot shop ban would cost city lost tax revenue

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.

What happens next to recreational marijuana in Newton (with a new twist)

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

We are councilors who happen to be women- enough already!

We are councilors who happen to be women- enough already!

This is a guest blog post submitted by Ward 6 City Councilor Brenda Noel

After the city council vote on July 9th on #312-18 “Citizens Petition requesting ballot question on recreational marijuana establishments and its subsequent vote to not allow for it to be on the ballot”, I received several emails accusing me of voting “as a block” with the other female councilors. This offends me to my core- so let’s take a moment to

Globe: ‘It’s not supposed to be easy to ban marijuana sales permanently’

A Boston Globe editorial has some harsh words for the “overwhelmingly white and wealthy” suburban communities where voters supported legalizing recreational marijuana but are now trying to ban the stores.

…it’s not supposed to be easy to ban marijuana sales permanently, especially in towns whose residents voted for legalization in the 2016 referendum. 

Later the editorial is talking about Concord, but it seems to apply to Newton as well…

…One is forced to wonder: Which children did the overwhelmingly white and wealthy towns have in mind, and would they have voted differently in 2016 if all state residents were exposed to its consequences equally?

 

Massachusetts is headed toward a two-tier system, strongly correlated to race and privilege, and the law allows it. It’s not a pretty picture — and if towns try to make it even worse through moratoriums, officials should just say no.  

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