Rep. Muratore named to conference committee on cannabis bill

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Courtesy of Office of State Representative Mathew Muratore

BOSTON — House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr., R-North Reading, has named State Rep. Mathew Muratore, R-Plymouth, to a six-member conference committee that will focus on reforming the current regulations governing the state’s cannabis industry.

The House and Senate have approved legislation that would give the Cannabis Control Commission greater oversight of host community agreements entered into by municipalities and marijuana dispensaries. The proposed changes come in response to concerns that some communities are overstepping their statutory authority when negotiating the terms of their hosting agreements.

The House and Senate have also called for a process to be put in place for communities to approve on-site drinking sites, often called “pot cafes.” However, the two legislative branches have taken different approaches to promoting social equity within the industry, with the Senate agreeing to dedicate 10% of the Marijuana Regulatory Fund’s annual revenue to a new Social Equity Trust Fund. in cannabis to help provide access to start-up capital and the Chamber has chosen to set aside 20% of annual revenue for these purposes.

“Matt has extensive experience in municipal administration and business management, which gives him a clear understanding of many of the issues associated with the state’s cannabis industry that this legislation attempts to address,” Jones said. . “His knowledge and experience in these areas will be an asset to the conference committee as it works to negotiate differences between House and Senate bills.”

The conference committee on cannabis will attempt to reach agreement on a compromise bill to send to Governor Charlie Baker before formal sessions end on July 31. In addition to Muratore, other conference committee members include Rep. Daniel Donahue, D-Worcester; and Joseph Wagner, D-Chicopée; as well as Senators Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport; Joanne Comerford, D-Northampton; and Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton.

Muratore is currently in his fourth term representing Plymouth’s First District. A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he is also currently an Associate Minority Ranking Member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Funding; the senior minority member of the Joint Committee of Municipalities and Regional Government; and the Minority Ranking Member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture Development.

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