Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the revised bill into law regarding recreational marijuana use in the state after lawmakers made changes. However, the politician said he still opposes the law. The signing marks the start of the 11-month period before pot shops can operate legally all over Massachusetts.

What the changes are

The changes were made after voters decided on what should be part of the bill back in November. One of the changes they decided on is the increase of the tax rate on sales. Originally, it was proposed that the tax rate would be 12 percent but voters decided it should be 20 percent, Boston Herald reported.

The Washington Post also shared that there were changes concerning the requirements regarding packaging and labeling of the marijuana products. These have not been detailed entirely yet but it is stricter now because all these marijuana products, including the edibles, will have to be placed in child-resistant packages and should be properly labeled saying that THC is present in the product.

Democratic Senator Jason Lewis said that they want the law to result in a responsible industry that sells safe products only to adults and not to children or teenagers.

The procedures for cities and towns should also be laid out if they do not want marijuana shops to be opened in their areas. However, in communities where the majority of the voters support the legalization of Recreational Marijuana, the restriction or banning of pot shops would be put to a vote.

Governor talks about not being in favor of the law

Baker said that he still remains cautious and guarded regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana all over the state but noted that the people voted for it so he hopes that the revamped bill will ease his worries. He also said that he is willing to provide more funding to marijuana regulators.

Now, the budget for the program is at $2 million. Accordingly, the industry might need $10 million for the first year.

The governor noted that putting the program in place means he and the lawmakers should deliver a “workable, safe, productive recreational marijuana market” for the citizens of Massachusetts. Members also need to be appointed to a voluntary advisory board as well as a five-person commission that will oversee the industry in Massachusetts. Baker said that they already have people in mind but they have not dropped any names yet. It is possible that retail pot shops could operate as early as July 1, 2018.