By Bob Katzen
The Senate 8-31, rejected an amendment that would create a state-funded Host Community Technical Assistance Fund to help cities and towns in developing and negotiating Home Community Agreements (HCAs)—which are agreements between a city or town and the business looking to open a marijuana-related business in the community.
“If we are going to put so much stock in HCAs and put stringent requirements on their accounting and execution, then we ought to be helping municipalities that may not have the ability to negotiate and develop the kind of agreements that we all hope to have,” said amendment sponsor Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).
Amendment opponents said the fund is not necessary and noted that the bill includes the creation of a model agreement on which cities and towns can base their agreements without spending a lot of money. They also noted cities and towns can use the 3 percent tax that local communities are already entitled to levy on the businesses.
The main opponent of the amendment, Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston,) did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call to comment on the amendment.