Broad Support for Local Cannabis Taxes – Election Results in Montana | William Davis

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More than a dozen counties and municipalities held local elections this month to vote on proposals to either ban or impose taxes on the sale of adult and medical marijuana. This comes two years after Montaners approved the legalization of marijuana for adult use.

Taken together, the actions demonstrate a continuing statewide desire to capitalize on Montana’s evolving cannabis market. While numerous attempts to ban adult sales have been successful, they have tended to take place in small towns and rural areas. Almost all medical marijuana tax measures and adult-use tax bills have been approved.

In Montana, the sale of marijuana for adult use is subject to a flat 4% tax and a 20% statewide tax. Any local option taxes intended to support Montanans this election cycle will increase adult excise taxes and/or medical sales taxes by 3% locally.

By the end of September, Montana businesses had sold $228 million worth of marijuana since the state’s adult marijuana program began Jan. 1 for the remaining three-quarters. During the same period, the state received more than $33 million in tax revenue from sales.

Municipal tax revenue is distributed equally among all counties that have accepted it: half of the funds are kept by the county, 45% are distributed among the county towns, and 5% is returned to the state to cover administrative costs.

Pepper Petersen, President of the Montana Cannabis Guild, said:

This is not a partisan issue in Montana. Montanans of all political persuasions supported legalization in 2020 and continue to do so, as evidenced by last night’s votes for taxing and selling marijuana.

The most dramatic marijuana vote of Election Day came in Granite County, when citizens narrowly rejected a proposal to change the country from red to green by a majority of 52 to 48.

The Dawson County Clerk and Recorder’s Office across Montana has confirmed that the small community of Richey has also voted to ban the sale. The ban was supported by 64 people, while 32 opposed it.

Great Falls residents voted to legalize cannabis sales within community lines by a margin of 52 to 48.

During this week’s election, residents of Manhattan and West Yellowstone cast their ballots to ban sales. In Manhattan, where 69% of voters supported the ban, the results were very clear.

The majority of the other municipal tax initiatives that were on Montanans’ ballots were approved.

A tax on the sale of adult marijuana passed Flathead County with ease, while a second vote on medical marijuana taxation narrowly failed

A tax on adult consumption passed with ease in Sanders County, while a plan to levy medical marijuana was defeated by a two-vote.

Both adult use and sale of drugs were taxable in Madison and Mineral counties. In both cases, the adult use tax was won by significantly larger margins. Valley County residents also approved both levies.