Councillor Pushes for Marijuana Fee

Even though the city has banned the sale of recreational marijuana, a medical marijuana facility is slated to open on Railroad Avenue and at least one councillor wants to make sure the city can charge a 3-percent tax on any sale.

Councillor Steve Morabito presented a motion at Monday night’s City Council meeting to do just that.

The motion was to accept Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64N, Section 3 as amended by chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017.

The acceptance of the provision imposes a three percent local tax option on marijuana sales. The revenue generated from the local tax option shall be used to fund education on substance abuse and to help with addiction recovery.

“This is a gateway drug,” Morabito said. “I’d like to see the funds go to education and addiction recovery. As a city we should take advantage of this.”

In addition, Morabito wants the permit to operate the medical marijuana facility at 44 Railroad St. to include a host community agreement with the City of Revere, that calls for a community impact fee of 3-percent of gross sales per year for five years. Councillor George Rotondo likes the idea, but his concern is who the city would utilize to conduct the education. He was concerned about outcomes and modalities.

“I’m all for education I just want it to be the right group,” Rotondo said. “Show me outcomes and give me results.”

“I somewhat agree with merit based funding,” said Councillor Anthony Zambuto. “I certainly don’t want to see it in any general fund.”

The Council voted to the Legislative Affairs Subcommittee.

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