Republican Leadership Opposing Governor Bullock’s Marijuana Sales Tax
Embedded in Governor Steve Bullock’s proposed budget is a 1.4 percent increase in spending, some of that increase is expected to be covered by a new six percent sales tax on medical Marijuana. The new sales tax may have some difficulty making it through the legislature though, as prominent Republicans, like Senate Majority leader Fred Thomas, are already opposing it.
"We will see some differing of opinions and votes on the governor's proposal for sales tax on medical marijuana," said Thomas. "Most republicans are going to be against a new sales tax because they don't like a sales tax. That is where I am coming from. I know the Governor campaigned against a sales tax, but then in his budget the first thing that caught your eye is a new sales tax."
Thomas says that the act of taxing a medicine is problematic.
"It is punitive to me to want to pass a sales tax that would be taxing a medicine," Thomas said. "I know that some people don't see marijuana as a medicine, but for those that need it, it is. In talking with people that do use this, their choice is to have this or go to an opioid."
In the nearby states of Washington and Colorado, recreational or retail marijuana has a 10 percent sales tax, but medical marijuana in both states does not have an additional sales tax above the normal retail tax.