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Medical Marijuana Tax Revenues Exceed State Projections

Cannabis buds.
The first collections from Montana’s new medical marijuana tax are substantially greater than projections.";

The first collections from Montana’s new medical marijuana tax are substantially greater than projections.

New numbers show that marijuana providers paid a total of $380,000 in taxes in the first quarter of the fiscal year alone.

That’s more than half of what projections were for the entire year.

This is the first year that providers are required to pay a 4 percent tax on gross revenues, set up by the Montana Medical Marijuana Act.

Mary Ann Dunwell is with the Montana Department of Revenue.

“Folks probably want to know where the money is going, it is actually being recycled back into the medical marijuana program,” she said.

Dunwell said the department of public health and human services, which administers the program, would be responsible for deciding where to put that money.

The taxes collected show that providers have pulled in $9.5 million in gross revenues since July.

The deadline to pay on first quarter earnings was Oct 16. But about a third of the state’s 600 medical marijuana providers have yet to do so.

“We are working with providers because they may have questions and there may be problems on their end processing it, so we’re working with folks, however we are obligated under law to impose penalties and interest if a provider doesn’t comply,” Dunwell said.

Fifteen percent of providers paid by cash and the rest paid via check or electronic transfer. The average payment was $800.

Beau is a former Morning Edition host and producer and engineer for the MTPR program "Capitol Talk." He worked as a reporter, and hosted Freeforms once a month.
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