New law could increase taxes on Marijuana sales in Montana
BILLINGS - In the state legislature cannabis is once again taking center stage.
This year, a proposed bill is seeking to undo almost all of the policy changes that were voted into effect by Montanans.
It has been an interesting journey when it comes to the legalization of marijuana in the Treasure State. In Yellowstone county alone, cannabis was on the ballot in two separate elections and both times recreational use of marijuana was voted through.
A new Bill would make a lot of changes to the current cannabis laws in the state. Senate Bill 546, introduced by Senator Ken Regier would revise several marijuana laws. Within the text of the Bill, Senator Regeir wants to reduce the demand for marijuana by eliminating all adult use and access to cannabis, only allowing medical use. He wants to increase the medical use tax from 4% to 20% while decreasing the potency of THC from 35% to 10%. He also wants to drop the maximum purchase amount from 5 ounces to 1 ounce a month
If this Bill were to pass, it would have a major impact on those who not only use cannabis recreationally but also impact the business owners and employees of Montana's dispensaries. Zack Schopp, owner of Seed of Life Labs in Billings said the ripple effects of a law like this -- would go beyond the marijuana industry.
"It's detrimental to the business, to the employees of those businesses, to those government regulators who are employed, to the contractors of the building, to the real estate agents that are selling property. All of that economic opportunity that's been created from cannabis is at stake with a Bill like that, there are over 5,000 Montanans who have jobs in the cannabis industry here, you know, what am I supposed to say to them if this goes through," said Schopp
His business is just one of more than 40 dispensaries in the area according to the department of revenue, Yellowstone County generated an estimated $4,000,000.00 in Tax revenue in February of 2023.