On Friday, a Minnesota senator introduced a bill that would drastically alter the state’s adult-use cannabis industry only a year after it launched adult-use cannabis sales.
Senate Bill 546, introduced by Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, focuses on “eliminating adult-use dispensaries” and intends to “reduce the demand for marijuana sales.”
The bill would prohibit non-medical marijuana sales, increase the state tax on medical marijuana from 4% to 20%, lower the THC cap on flower from 35% to 10%, lower the THC levels in individual edibles from 10 milligrams to 5 milligrams, and cap the THC percentage in concentrates at 10%.
According to the Montana Free Press, these significant limits on medical marijuana potency and allowable amounts for possession would not only reduce the consumer base for existing cannabis businesses, but would also drastically reduce revenue for state coffers. Since adult-use sales began in January 2022, Montana has generated $54 million in tax revenue from the industry, derived almost entirely from recreational consumers that pay a 20% tax to the state. In 2022, retailers sold $202,947,328 worth of recreational cannabis, which is roughly double the amount of medical marijuana sales.
“If SB 546 passes, it would render the entire cannabis program worthless, not only for the operators but also for consumers and patients in the state,” Zach Block, owner of Kalispell dispensary Montana Canna, told the Montana Free Press.
Minnesota’s Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Senate Committee plans to hold a hearing on Senate Bill 546 on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.