HOPKINTON — If voters in town choose to reject a November ballot question that asks whether to allow recreational marijuana sales in the community, it is a decision that could cost the town millions in tax revenues down the road.
The decision on whether any retail pot sales locations would be allowed in the community is out of the hands of elected officials, and Hopkinton Town Council President Stephen Moffitt Jr. is worried that voters may not be aware of how negative a “no” vote could be for local revenues and the budget, including the loss of a 3% return on every dollar spent purchasing marijuana at a local dispensary.
Matthew Santacroce, interim deputy director of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, said during a presentation to the Hopkinton Town Council this week that educating the public is going to be up to local officials and legislators.
“We have been careful during this process not to take an advocacy position; that is not our job,” Santacroce said Monday evening. “Our job is to coordinate with business transparently in accordance with the law. What you are looking for is an advocacy effort and I think there is a critical role for legislators to play in that process.”
The presentation this week was made as the state tries to prepare communities to vote on the issue in the upcoming November elections and…