Western Mass. Cannabis Shops Bring $6M Lawsuit Against Town

Companies have complained the fees often go toward common municipal expenses

In the Berkshires, three cannabis dispensaries sued the town of Great Barrington last week for nearly $6 million, accusing local officials of improperly collecting fees from the shops for years.

“Community impact fees” have long faced criticism from cannabis companies.

In addition to a 3% sales tax, municipalities can charge the companies another 3% of their gross sales to offset any new government spending caused by the cannabis businesses, such as traffic mitigation or expanded public safety needs.

But cannabis companies say their impact on the wider community is the same as any other business. Rather than addressing specific community impacts tied to marijuana sales, as state law requires, companies have complained the fees often go toward common municipal expenses.

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