Montana Department of Revenue figures reveal adult-use marijuana sales are booming in the state, while medical sales are continuing to drop.
Adults 21 and over in Montana have been able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana with no criminal penalties since the beginning of 2021. Since January 1, 2022, previously licensed medical marijuana license holders have been allowed to sell to adult-use consumers.
Back in January 2022, medical sales racked up $10,143,750 for that month, while adult sales were $14,141,897. In August this year, medical sales had dropped to $4,969,303, while the adult-use sector continued its growth with $23,728,009 in sales. So, medical sales sales have more than halved since retail sales began.
Sales to date of both medical and adult use marijuana since January 2022 have reached more than half a billion dollars – $516,237,988 to the end of August. $136,342,627 of that total is attributable to medical sales.
Legal marijuana has proven to be a cash cow for the state’s coffers. Montana has a 4% tax on medical marijuana and 20% tax on adult use marijuana products. In addition to state taxes, a Local Options Marijuana Excise also exists in some counties for medical and/or recreational sales. The rate may not exceed 3% and where it is in place, counties have it set at the maximum level.
Given a population of just 1.124 million (estimated), legal marijuana in Montana is a significant contributor to the state’s economy. But not everyone has been happy with the situation as it stands.
Earlier this year a bill was introduced in Montana seeking to make major changes to cannabis access. Senator Keith Regier’s Senate Bill 546 would have increased the medical tax from 4% to 20% and place greater limits on purchasing and flower THC, as well as reducing the number of home-grow plants permitted. In terms of recreational marijuana, it aimed to eliminate adult-use dispensaries.
But according to Montana Free Press, SB 546 is “probably dead”.
Further information on legal cannabis in Montana can be found on the state’s Cannabis Control Division website.