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A Montana Republican lawmaker wants to eliminate recreational dispensaries

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More than two years after voters approved a measure legalizing recreational cannabis, and more than a year after the state’s regulated marijuana market was launched, a Montana lawmaker wants to undo it all.

Last week, Republican Sen. Keith Rieger introduced law Project Includes a list of reforms to Montana’s cannabis policy, most notably “eliminate adult use dispensaries.”

according to Montana Free PressAnd The bill “also raises the state tax on medical marijuana from 4% to 20% and places significant limits on the potency of medical marijuana and the quantities allowed for possession,” and though it again bans recreational cannabis, it will not “re-criminalize marijuana adult possession.”

Regier’s bill clearly states its goal: “to reduce the demand for marijuana sales.”

Montana Free Press He has more background on the proposal:

If passed into law, the bill would significantly reduce the potential consumer base of incumbent marijuana companies and eliminate a significant source of revenue for state coffers. Since adult use sales began in January 2022, Montana has generated $54 million in tax revenue from the industry. Less than a tenth of that revenue is from medical marijuana taxes.Currently, recreational customers pay a 20% tax to the state; some counties add an additional 3% local tax.

The newspaper reported that the bill will be the subject of a hearing on Wednesday in the Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee.

Nearly 57% of Montana voters approved Initiative 190 in 2020, which legalized marijuana for adults 21 or older and also laid the groundwork for taxes on cannabis sales.

Recreational cannabis sales began last year, It brought in more than $200 million for the country in 2022.

According to the state, recreational marijuana sales were $202,947,328 in 2022, while medical cannabis sales were $93,616,551. (Montana voters legalized medical marijuana treatment in 2004.)

The two combined to generate a combined total of $303,563,879 in marijuana sales last year.

Montana generated $41,989,466 in tax revenue from recreational pot sales, according to the Department of Revenue, and $3,744,662 in taxes from medical cannabis sales. Combined, the state collected $45,734,128 in tax revenue from marijuana sales in 2022.

Marijuana reform has been a hot topic in the Montana legislature this year.

Earlier this month, the Business and Labor Committee heard “testimony on two marijuana-related bills,” According to local news station KTVH — one that “will prohibit marijuana companies in Montana from promoting their business or brand in print, on television and radio, or using a billboard,” while the other “will review required warning labels that marijuana companies must place on their products, to say that marijuana use during pregnancy can It leads to “congenital malformations and hereditary cancers that the child develops later in life.”

The station reported that the proposed ad ban “has sparked opposition from marijuana companies and from the Montana Newspaper Association,” with opponents saying that “most people in the industry have gone to great lengths to make sure their ads follow existing rules, and most of the issues people care about come from a few bad actors.”

There have been discussions of other cannabis bills as well, including one that “requires marijuana growers and manufacturers of marijuana products to install air filtration systems to address concerns about odor.” According to KTVH, Plus several proposed bills to change how the state distributes marijuana tax revenues.

In particular, they’re proposing to remove a section of state law that directs a percentage of taxes from marijuana sales toward Habitat Montana — a program that uses state funds for wildlife habitat conservation projects. The program has more than enough funding and no longer needs to, Greg Gianforte said. marijuana proceeds I mentioned the station.

Grow guide for marijuana beginners.
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