University of Montana releases study showing potential of taxing recreational marijuana

University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research released a study this month about the possible market value of legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana in Montana.

Research in the study estimated that a 20% tax could bring in between $43.4 million and $52 million annually.

“You’re not only looking at local monies being spent both legally and illegally because, let’s be honest, because not everybody has a medical card, but if it becomes legal that opens the market up to anybody,” said Mark Gibbons Jr., owner and grower at Montana Natural Cannabis. “You’re looking at more tax money from people who don’t have medical cards or aren’t interested in getting it. You’re looking at a lot of tax money from visitors from out of state.”

This year, legalization of recreational marijuana is back on the ballot. Initiative 190 proposes a 20% tax that would be distributed by 10.5% going into the state general fund. The general fund makes up many different programs, but an estimated 54% of it goes towards K-12 education.

“I would say it’s not only recession-proof, but in times like pandemic you might actually see an uptick in sales,” said Gibbons Jr. “I know a lot of stores did really well because a lot of people were panic buying.” [Read more at NBC Montana]

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