Vote “NO” on the Medical Marijuana Excise Tax in Flathead County (Resolution 2573)
Medical marijuana users and purveyors across Flathead County are urging constituents to vote “NO” on the Medical Marijuana Local-Option Excise Tax, which will appear on the ballot in November.
Voters will be asked TWO questions pertaining to cannabis taxes on the ballot in this year’s election:
- (Resolution 2572) Do you support a 3% County tax for recreational marijuana sales?
Answer: YES or NO
- (Resolution 2573) Do you support a 3% County tax for medical marijuana sales?
State taxes are already set at 4% for medical marijuana and 20% for adult-use sales. If passed, local-option tax rates would increase up to a maximum of 3% on medical, adult-use, or both.
Why vote “NO” on the Medical Marijuana Local-Option Excise Tax?
- Medicine should not be taxed.
- Medical marijuana is already taxed in the state by 4%. Many providers are passing that 4% tax on to medical patients. An increase would only be hurting sick patients and increasing the cost of their medicine. (Please note: Tamarack Cannabis currently absorbs the 4% medical tax for its patients, but will not be able to absorb an additional 3%. There is no way for dispensaries to cover a partial tax, so this means a 7% tax for all medical patients if Resolution 2573 passes.)
- Excise taxes are generally thought of as a tool for discouraging a drug’s use or funding programs that can offset negative societal effects—neither of which seem necessary in the case of medical marijuana.
- There isn’t any data on marijuana use costing the County any dollars, and certainly not medicinal marijuana. Without a cost to the County, what is the purpose for the funds?
- Flathead County Commissioners haven’t designated a use for any additional tax dollars, therefore deeming it unnecessary to pull funds from cancer patients, disabled veterans and other sick patients.
If either measure is passed, 50% of the resulting tax revenue will go to Flathead County, 45% must be apportioned to municipalities on the basis of the ration of the population of the city or town to the total county population, and the remaining 5% must be retained by the Montana Department of Revenue to defray the costs associated with administering the tax. The tax would be assessed on retail sales of medical marijuana and marijuana products sold in Flathead County effective March 1, 2023.