Lawmakers want to double sales tax for recreational marijuana

Maine lawmakers want to double the recreational marijuana sales tax to 20 percent.

The Legislature's marijuana legalization committee will consider the issue at a Sept. 26 public hearing. Lawmakers say they'll likely postpone legalization of recreational marijuana sales past February.

The committee had supported adding a 10 percent excise tax on business owners who sell marijuana on top of the 10 percent sales tax. A draft marijuana bill released Tuesday calls for a 20 percent sales tax.

Committee co-chair Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce said the tweak was due to the committee's lack of taxing expertise. She said an excise tax could allow more predictability.

Legalize Maine President Paul McCarrier said tax hikes will empower the black market. He said Maine would get the most tax revenue from a sales tax.

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