Leisure pot gross sales proceed to soar in Huge Sky Nation, with Montana reporting a file excessive complete final month.
The state’s Division of Income reported that adult-use hashish gross sales in Montana totaled greater than $17 million within the month of June—the best determine since leisure pot gross sales started in January.
Between leisure and medical pot, Montana has generated practically $150 million in mixed hashish gross sales this yr. According to local news station NBC Montana, the mixed leisure and medical gross sales have generated practically $21 million in state taxes thus far this yr.
Leisure hashish is taxed at 20% in Montana, whereas medical hashish has solely a 4% state gross sales tax.
Not surprisingly, leisure pot gross sales have outpaced medical hashish gross sales within the state.
From January via June, Montana’s new leisure hashish program has generated $93,747,110, in contrast with $54,324,681 in medical hashish gross sales.
The state had beforehand projected $130 million in leisure hashish gross sales this yr, and greater than $195 million in 2023.
Leisure pot gross sales in Montana kicked off to nice fanfare on New 12 months’s Day. It was one among 4 states that handed poll measures legalizing adult-use hashish in 2020 (Arizona, South Dakota, and New Jersey have been the opposite three).
On the opening weekend, hashish gross sales totaled greater than $1.5 million in Montana.
The native newspaper, the Unbiased File, reported on the time that dispensaries within the capital metropolis of Helena “had strains of individuals packed inside to keep away from chilly temperatures, whereas others noticed a small however regular stream of foot site visitors via midday.”
Native tv station KTVH reported that this system launched in January with an “estimated 380 dispensaries in 29 counties at the moment are capable of promote marijuana to each medical and leisure clients.”
Following the profitable passage of the legalization poll measure, lawmakers in Montana promptly handed a invoice in 2021 that set a framework for leisure hashish gross sales within the state.
For Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte, maybe crucial element of that laws was the HEART Fund, which can use income from the leisure pot program to subsidize substance abuse remedy within the state.
“From the beginning, I’ve been clear that we have to carry extra sources to bear to fight the drug epidemic that’s devastating our communities,” Gianforte mentioned after signing the laws. “Funding a full continuum of substance abuse prevention and remedy packages for communities, the HEART Fund will provide new assist to Montanans who wish to get clear, sober and wholesome.”
The brand new legislation additionally features a authorized mechanism by which people beforehand convicted of sure pot-related offenses can petition to have these data expunged.
In March, the Montana Supreme Courtroom issued temporary rules governing these expungement procedures.
According to the Missoula Current, the brand new legislation “says anybody convicted of an offense that will now be authorized within the state can petition to have their conviction faraway from their file, get a lesser sentence for it or reclassify it to a lesser offense.”
The largest clarification issued by the state Supreme Courtroom “was letting folks know they may submit their expungement request to the courtroom the place they have been initially sentenced,” according to the Missoula Current.
Beth McLaughlin, the Montana state courtroom administrator, advised the Missoula Present, “there had been some confusion due to a separate expungement process for misdemeanors that requires all defendants to undergo district courts,” however that the legislation “says courts ought to presume somebody is eligible for expungement until the county lawyer proves in any other case.”
“The curiosity is to make it simpler for litigants,” McLaughlin mentioned, as quoted by the Missoula Current. “The purpose is to make them as available as potential.”