Slow Rollout Of Pot Sales Clouds Marijuana Tax Forecast

BOSTON (AP) — A fiscal research group says the slow rollout of recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts casts doubt on projected state revenue from cannabis taxes.

The annual state budget approved by the Legislature on Wednesday assumes $63 million in revenue from the 17 percent state tax on marijuana sales. That estimate, however, was made earlier this year when there was an expectation of retail sales beginning on July 1.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said in an analysis of the new budget that it was unfortunate lawmakers did not lower marijuana revenue estimates, as they're unlikely to hit the $63 million target.

Only one marijuana retailer has been licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission and no pot shops have opened. Among the factors cited are protracted negotiations between cannabis businesses and local communities.

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