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Marijuana ballot questions to have vote at Tuesday Yellowstone County Commissioner meeting

Medical Marijuana Shrinking Market
Posted at 10:16 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 00:16:12-04

BILLINGS — At a meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. inside the Stillwater Building in Billings, the Yellowstone County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to put two questions on the Nov. 2 ballot that would decide the fate and tax rate of marijuana in the county.

The Commissioners are scheduled to take public comment before voting on a total of three proposed ballot questions, according to the meeting agenda. If commissioners approve the questions with a vote Tuesday, voters will see the questions on an election ballot on Nov. 2.

One proposed ballot measure about a 3 percent local option sales tax would be split into two separate questions. The voters could be asked whether they want a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana and a second question could ask whether to put a 3 percent tax on medical marijuana.

Montana House Bill 701 outlines a 20 percent state tax on recreational marijuana products sold and a four percent tax on a medical marijuana dispensary owner's gross sales. The bill also gave Montana counties the option to run an election to ask for the additional 3 percent local option tax.

The other ballot question before Commissioners would be to ask voters whether to allow non-medical marijuana commercial businesses into the county. Medical marijuana businesses would not be affected if the Commissioners decide to hold the vote

The Billings City Council will also make a similar decision at a meeting scheduled for next week on Monday, Aug. 9. According to the meeting agenda, the Council will vote on whether to ask Billings voters if they want to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries into the city limits.

If the county moves ahead with its election, the city will not need to run it's ballot question on Nov. 2, according to the agenda.

RELATED: Yellowstone County commissioners working on recreational-marijuana ballot measures