MARIJUANA DISPENSARY JARS

Marijuana dispensaries have reported strong sales for the first week of adult-use recreational marijuana in Montana.

According to reports from the state, the first week of sales for recreational marijuana in Montana has been a huge success. The Montana Department of Revenue reported a combined marijuana sales in excess of $1.5 million the first weekend alone and sales have continued to be strong according to reports from dispensaries across the state. Sales numbers for the first full week were not available as of press time.

According to state officials, the rollout of legal recreational marijuana has gone without a hitch.

“The rollout of the adult-use program went off without any issues from the department’s supported IT systems,” Cannabis Control Division Administrator Kristan Barbour said Tuesday in an email. “We were able to successfully verify with (the) industry that our licensing and seed to sales systems were working on Friday to ensure a successful launch on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. The successful launch was a result of staff’s hard work and planning over the past six month to meet the challenges of implementing HB 701.”

There are approximately 380 dispensaries in 29 counties which have been licensed to sell marijuana to both medical and recreational customers. Many dispensary operators have reported sales far in excess of normal sales for medical marijuana prior to legalization taking effect. A majority of the customers the first week were reported to be adult-use recreational customers as medical marijuana patients had stocked prior to the launch.

The public should not expect a large number of new dispensaries for the next 18 months since only dispensaries were licensed prior to the legalization initiative in November 2020 can make recreational sales for now.

The state has also placed a 20% tax on recreational sales, compared to 4% on medical sales. That tax, however, does not go into effect until Jan. 31.

Voters in a number of counties have also approved a 3% local option sales taxes on marijuana, which won’t go into effect for a few more weeks. Also, Yellowstone, Park and Dawson Counties will put the tax on both medical and adult-use marijuana.

Missoula County voters approved the tax for adult-use sales but voted against putting it on medical marijuana.

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