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Regulations for Recreational Marijuana Program Headed To The Senate

By United States Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

After more than a week of debate, a single framework to regulate Montana’s forthcoming recreational marijuana program is headed to the full Senate for consideration. It passed another hurdle Wednesday evening after being reshaped by a special legislative committee.

The Senate panel whittled three ideas passed by the House into one package to regulate recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older.

“Looking at the different bills that they had, trying to combine everything together into one workable product, I think for Montanans we’ve done an incredible job,” said Hamilton Republican Sen. Jason Ellsworth, the committee chair.

The policy moving to Senate debate includes a 20% tax on sales of recreational marijuana with the option for counties to vote for their own additional tax. The bill also includes a provision that will allow for recreational marijuana sales only in counties that voted to approve legalized adult-use of cannabis last November. Counties would have to hold another vote to change that.

The amended bill also includes funding for veterans services and the Habitat Montana conservation program, moving revenue distribution closer to spending outlined by the November initiative.