BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State revenue officials are working on the roll-out of the latest medical marijuana program with a tax on the drug — the first of its kind in the state — which could increase the agency’s capacity for handling cash.
Legislators passed SB333 this spring, adding a number of regulations to the program. That includes a gross sales tax that providers will start putting on the books on July 1, the Billings Gazette reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/2qV3rJC).
The tax will be 4 percent of gross sales from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. After that the tax will be 2 percent.
For the Montana Department of Revenue, much of the setup is no different from any other specialty tax.
“Getting our computer system changed so it can accept those returns and create those accounts” is their main concern, said Gene Walborn, deputy director at the revenue department.
What’s unknown is how much physical cash the department will have to handle for tax payments.
America’s burgeoning marijuana industry, including the medicinal sectors, have been characterized in part as cash-heavy businesses. This is because many banks, which are federally regulated and insured, don’t want to run afoul of federal law by servicing marijuana business transactions.
Marijuana remains illegal for all purposes under federal drug laws. [Read more at Bozeman Daily Chronicle]