The state of Montana collected $1.eight million in the primary yr of taxing the medical marijuana business, in line with authorities officers. The Montana Department of Revenue additionally reported that the state’s medicinal hashish companies had generated roughly $45 million in gross sales through the first yr of taxation.
State income director Gene Walborn informed native media that the division was proud of the rollout of taxes on Montana’s medical marijuana business.
“We were pleasantly surprised on how well it went,” he stated. “It being a new tax, we were concerned what challenges you receive with a new tax.”
Medical Marijuana Taxes Began Last Year
Montana started levying a quarterly tax on hashish companies final yr with the enactment of Senate Bill 333, an overhaul of the state’s medical marijuana program. Montana has not legalized the leisure use of hashish.
Taxes for the primary yr have been set at 4 % and commenced on July 1, 2017. The income generated might be used to create further state regulatory infrastructure together with testing, inspections, and a seed-to-sale monitoring system. The tax was subsequently decreased to 2 % as of July 1 of this yr and is predicted to stay at that fee for the foreseeable future.
The marijuana taxes generated greater than $1.three million dollars in the course of the 2018 fiscal yr. Taxes for July of this yr totaled $458,000 and can be included in income figures for the fiscal yr 2019. Taxes collected because the program started final yr got here to a complete of $1.eight million, based on state officers.
Tax Revenue Exceeds Expectations
The taxes raised have been virtually twice as a lot as state officers anticipated. A fiscal evaluation of Senate Bill 333 decided that the four % tax would increase roughly $750,000 the primary yr. Director Walborn stated that the state’s medical marijuana suppliers have been very cooperative with the income division. He additionally famous that extra suppliers paid their taxes electronically than anticipated, ensuing in the division dealing with much less money than anticipated.
The Montana Department of Health and Human Services started issuing guidelines to control the state’s medical marijuana program earlier this yr. The division has already begun licensing hashish companies and enrolling sufferers in this system. Regulators have additionally began to trace hashish merchandise via the state’s provide chain.
The state has additionally begun inspecting hashish companies together with testing labs, cultivation amenities, edibles kitchens, producers of cannabis-infused merchandise, and dispensaries.
420 Providers Of 420
As of July, Montana officers reported a complete of 420 medical marijuana suppliers had registered with the state. Of these, 72 are medicinal hashish dispensaries. So far, three hashish analytic testing labs have been licensed by the state, with one other license pending as of July.
The variety of sufferers registered in the state’s medical marijuana program the primary yr additionally exceeded what authorities officers predicted. Montana had 26,549 sufferers enrolled in the medicinal hashish program as of final month. The variety of sufferers started rising quickly in 2016 after the state’s Initiative 182 was handed. That measure made it simpler for sufferers to enroll in this system by eradicating some restrictions. More than 1,000 new sufferers signed up every month throughout 2017, in line with state officers.