HomeNewsMontana Mulling Medical Cannabis Tax Hike

Montana Mulling Medical Cannabis Tax Hike

A bill has been introduced in the US state of Montana seeking to make major changes to cannabis access in the state – both medicinal and recreational.

In Montana, residents aged 18 years or older with a medical marijuana card can purchase cannabis from a dispensary, have it delivered by registered providers, or home-grow their own.  On the adult use side of things, since January 1, 2021 adults aged 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of marijuana. They can also cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings for private use in a private residence.

But a new bill could really shake things up in the state. Introduced last Friday, Senator Keith Regier’s Senate Bill 546 would pretty much gut the state’s marijuana marketplace – and reportedly that is part of its aim.

On the medical cannabis front, SB 546 would raise  the state tax from 4% to 20%, and significantly reduce potency and possession limits. The amount of marijuana a medical patient could purchase would be slashed from five ounces per month to just one ounce. SB 546 would also lower the flower THC ceiling from a maximum 35% to just 10%, and halve the amount of permissible THC in edibles.

In terms of adult-use, SB 546 aims to eliminate adult-use dispensaries. And while current possession and use arrangements would remain, only one home-grow plant would be permitted.

If successful, the bill would see a significant source of revenue for the state dry up. According to Montana Free Press, since adult use began, Montana has generated $54 million in tax revenue from the industry – and less than one-tenth of that was from medical marijuana taxes.

The Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee held a hearing on SB 546 yesterday, but at the time of writing, there’s been no word on how that panned out.

The full text of Senate Bill 546 can be found here.

It was only a few weeks ago another medical cannabis tax related bill was tabled in Montana – but this one seeking to eliminate the tax, both at a state and local level.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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