Grow, Gift, Repair


The Lowell City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday night to devote 25 percent of tax revenue from marijuana sales to repair municipal buildings, such as schools, firehouses and the police station.

Before the vote, the city’s chief financial officer said Lowell would be a “trailblazer” to use these specific receipts this way.

Marijuana sales launched in Massachusetts in November. Lowell’s first retail marijuana shop could open in February.

Recently, City Councilor Vesna Nuon proposed the city manager explore the possibility of using tax revenue from marijuana sales to repair city buildings.

“We need to do something,” Nuon said at Tuesday’s meeting, highlighting the major needs at buildings across the city.

The vote on Tuesday created a special purpose stabilization fund for the repair and maintenance of municipal facilities. The fund must remain in existence for at least three years.

The City Council last year accepted the 3 percent local excise option on recreational marijuana sales. Twenty-five percent of this tax revenue will go to repairing city buildings.

Also last year, the City Council approved a 3 percent community impact fee for public safety and education.

Officials do not have a projection on how much they’ll receive from marijuana sales’ taxes.

“What is 25 percent? No one knows that, but we know that schools need a lot of work,” said City Councilor Edward Kennedy.