Cannabis Legalization In Montana Will Be Decided By Voters

A ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adult use in Montana has been approved by state officials to appear on the state’s General Election ballot in November.

Full story after the jump.

Montana voters will decide whether to legalize cannabis in the state during November’s General Election as the Secretary of State on Thursday certified the initiative backed by New Approach Montana, the Associated Press reports. The legalization question will have an accompanying constitutional initiative which is meant to ensure that only adults 21-and-older can access legal cannabis products.

If approved, the measure – which will appear on ballots as Issue 14 – would implement a taxed and regulated marketplace, and implement a 20 percent tax which would be used “to fund conservation, substance abuse treatment, veterans services, long-term health care, local governments, and general revenue for the state,” according to a summary of the proposal from the Secretary of State’s office. The state’s general fund would receive 10.5 percent of the tax revenues derived from the industry, while 10 percent would be earmarked for each the Department of Health and Human Services, local governments where the retail cannabis sales occurred, veterans’ services, and for Medicare rate increases.

The nongame wildlife account, state park account, trails and recreational facilities account would each reap 4.125 percent, while 37.125 percent would be used to credit Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

The measure would also reduce the medical cannabis sales tax to 1 percent and would allow people currently serving sentences for some cannabis crimes to apply for resentencing.

A fiscal note from the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning estimates that the state could generate $3.5 million in tax revenues in fiscal year 2022, $18 million in 2023, $28.6 million in 2024, and $38.5 million by 2025.

In 2016, Montana voters approved a measure to roll back medical cannabis program restrictions by a 56-44 margin.

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