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New law might raise Montana’s marijuana sales taxes



Billings, Montana – Cannabis is once again a hot topic in the state legislature. This year, a measure is being offered that would repeal almost all of the policy improvements that Montanans approved last year.

When it comes to the legalization of marijuana in the Treasure State, it has been an unusual road. Two separate elections in Yellowstone County alone had cannabis on the ballot, and both times legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes.

The state’s current marijuana regulations would undergo significant modification if a new Bill were to pass. Sen. Ken Regier’s Senate Bill 546, which would change various marijuana regulations, has been introduced. By banning all adult use and access to cannabis and only allowing medical use, Senator Regeir seeks to diminish the demand for marijuana in the language of the proposed legislation. He wants to reduce the THC potency from 35% to 10% while raising the medical use tax from 4% to 20%. Also, he wants to reduce the monthly maximum purchase quantity from 5 ounces to 1 ounce.

If this Bill were to become law, it would significantly affect persons who use cannabis for recreational purposes as well as the proprietors and staff of Montana’s dispensaries. The consequences of such a law, according to Zack Schopp, owner of Seed of Life Labs in Billings, would extend beyond the marijuana sector.

“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.

According to the department of revenue, Yellowstone County collected an anticipated $4,000,000.00 in tax income in February of 2023. His company is just one of more than 40 dispensaries in the area.