Beginning next month, medical cannabis sales in Montana will carry a 4 percent sales tax which could force officials at the Revenue Department to make changes to their infrastructure to accept large cash payments, according to a Billings Gazette report. Due to federal drug laws, most financial institutions won’t do business with cannabis companies, forcing them to rely primarily on cash to do business.
“We may have to do some changes to our physical buildings to be able to accept cash and maybe have some cash counters and that kind of thing,” said Department of Revenue Deputy Director Gene Walborn in the report, adding that the agency needs to change their computer system to be able to accept the payments.
Businesses, too, will have to adapt to the new policy as medical cannabis sales in the state were not previously subject to sales taxes. The legislature passed the new tax in April, which is designated to state regulators for setting up a seed-to-sale tracking and lab testing system and conducting site and shop inspections – none of which was required under the state’s previous regime but lawmakers added the program safeguards after voters moved to effectively re-legalize medical cannabis use after the legislature decimated the original 2004 program.
The 4 percent tax is expected to bring in $750,000. It will drop to 2 percent on July 1, 2018.
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