3 marijuana bills pass Montana House

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Three bills revising marijuana laws passed their final reading in the Montana House Thursday afternoon.

House Bills 701, 707 and 670 are all measures generally revising laws relating to the taxation and regulation of recreational and medical marijuana.

HB 701 would give licensing, cultivation and sales authority of medical marijuana to the Department of Revenue, as well as create separate license categories for cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing and transporting marijuana.

HB 707 would provide taxation for marijuana at the wholesale level and create wholesale licenses.

HB 670 would create a marijuana revenue trust fund, increase the medical marijuana tax rate to 5% and decrease the adult-use marijuana tax rate to 15%, among other things.

Opponents argue these bills present regulation that is too strict.

“If cost goes up for the grower, cost goes up for the consumer. If the consumer doesn't want to buy a product because it's too high, they're likely to go in black market. If the state doesn't see the revenue that they were projecting, then that looks bad on the program,” said Matt Boyle from Butte Elevation. “And that could hurt the program in the future as well.”

The three bills passed out of the House and now move on to the Senate.

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