HELENA — On Tuesday, Lewis and Clark County Commissioners voted to create two ballot issues for both medical and recreational marijuana on the June Primary Ballot.
If approved by voters, a three percent local tax would be added to marijuana sales in Lewis and Clark County.
"So this is an opportunity for our local government to take in some revenue based on sales of that,” said Andy Hunthausen, County Commissioner.
The commissioners voted unanimously to create the recreational marijuana ballot issue following testimony from Pepper Petersen, President of the Montana Cannabis Guild.
“We know in other states in Oregon those tax dollars have gone to police and road repair, and we think those things are important and would like to see those taxes applied at the county level,” said Petersen.
Petersen, however, saw an issue on the question of taxing medical marijuana.
“Margins are very tight for sick folks, if you are struggling with a chronic disease if you are struggling with your finances because of your illnesses, three percent is more money out of your pocket,” said Petersen.
The Commission voted 2-1 to put the option of taxing medical marijuana to Lewis and Clark County voters. Hunthausen was the lone objector with Chair Jim McCormick and Commissioner Tom Rolfe voting in favor of the resolution.
If voters approve the local option taxes in June, they would take effect in October.