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Local marijuana fees soar past $50 million as industry decries municipal ‘slush funds’ 

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Massachusetts cities and towns have collected over $53 million in “impact” fees from marijuana companies since recreational pot sales began in 2018, a new study has found, as lawmakers consider a crackdown on what critics decry as a government shakedown.

The survey of 88 communities, conducted by Northeastern University researchers and published by the Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, comes as the Legislature debates the final version of a bill that would essentially force municipalities to justify any fees on pot facilities in excess of those charged to other businesses.

“This report further shows how arbitrary and unequal the [local approval] process has become,” said state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, a sponsor of the legislation. “I look forward to the day soon when our cannabis marketplace lives up to our values and aspirations.”

Continue reading at the Boston Globe.

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