Cannabis sales in Montana through the first quarter of the year have reached $72.9 million, according to state Department of Revenue figures outlined by the Associated Press. The total includes both medical and adult-use cannabis sales, but adult-use sales represent the bulk of the total at more than $43.5 million.
The state saw a new adult-use sales record last month with $15.9 million; medical cannabis sales were $9.8 million.
The Montana budget office had predicted $130 million in cannabis sales this year, but the state is on track to reach $174 million in sales and may see as much as $200 million.
J.D. “Pepper” Petersen, president and CEO of the Montana Cannabis Guild told the Montana State News Bureau that Montana has seen “a tremendous number of out-of-state customers coming into the dispensaries,” which he said was “just going to grow and grow.”
“This isn’t people growing weed in their shed anymore, this is big business.” – Petersen to the News Bureau
Yellowstone County has the highest sales figures for combined adult-use cannabis and medical sales, accounting for $4.5 million of the $25.7 million total in statewide sales in March, or about 18%, the report says.
Montana imposes a 20% tax on adult-use sales and a 4% tax on medical cannabis sales, so the state could see more than $50 million annually from cannabis-derived revenues.
Montana voters approved an adult-use initiative in 2020 to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis flower and the home cultivation of up to four plants for adults aged 21 or older. That initiative took effect on January 1, 2021. The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature later approved rules for the plant’s commercial distribution, which were signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) last May, and the program launched on January 1, 2022.
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