- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 5, 2019

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts grand jury is investigating contracts and payments between municipalities and the marijuana companies they host.

The Boston Globe reports the grand jury convened by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is part of a larger effort by federal prosecutors to curb local corruption related to the cannabis industry.

Lelling’s office has sent subpoenas to at least six communities - Great Barrington, Eastham, Leicester, Newton, Northampton and Uxbridge - regarding information about their host community agreements.

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Each recreational marijuana firm is required to sign the contract with the community it plans to operate in before they can apply for a state license. The contracts normally call for substantial payments to the municipality.

The criticism of the contracts has been that local officials often demand more money than allowed under state law.

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