Montana lawmakers are considering a 6 percent sales tax on medical marijuana. Opponents told the House Taxation Committee that the tax would be a hardship on many of the nearly 12,000 registered medical marijuana users in Montana.
"We do not think it’s appropriate for patients to bear the burden of that cost," said Katie Wetch who testified against the bill. She identified herself as a co-founder of the Patient Rights Network.
Democratic Representative Tom Jacobson of Great Falls, is the bill's sponsor:
“You will hear the opponents say you can't tax medicine. Well guess what? Every other state that is doing this, they are some of the leaders in moving forward with medical marijuana, are all taxing medicine. Why? Because they have the same regulatory obligations that the state of Montana does."
The tax could raise about $1.1 million a year, with the bulk going to the state's general fund. Some money would be used for an armored car and a security guard to collect taxes directly from dispensaries.
Last fall, voters again approved a measure legalizing medicinal marijuana after an earlier voter-approved law was gutted by lawmakers and mired in legal limbo.
The sales tax is one of two marijuana-related revenue measures still winding their way through the legislature. The other proposal would place a 2 percent levy on marijuana producers.