Gallatin County Marijuana Tax Ballot Questions FAQs

Ballot

On the June 7, 2022 primary election ballot, Gallatin County voters will be asked to decide on two local-option marijuana sales taxes. 

Here are answers to some frequently asked question about these two ballot issues. Have a question you don't see an answer to? Email us and we will get you an answer!

Why is this on my ballot?

In November 2020, Montana voters passed Initiative Measure 190, which allowed for the operation of various categories of marijuana businesses and taxation of marijuana retail sales in Montana counties in which a majority of voters approved the initiative. The initiative passed in Gallatin County with 65.6% of the vote.

The 2021 legislature then passed House Bill 701, which provides guidance on how Montana's recreational marijuana program is to be implemented and managed A key provision in HB 701 allows for counties to authorize additional local-option marijuana taxes of up to 3% through an election. In March 2022, the Gallatin County Commissioners decided to let voters decide on whether or not to enact the local-option taxes.

How much would the taxes be?

Gallatin County voters will have two local-option marijuana sales taxes to consider. 

The ballot language for the first question will be:

"Shall Gallatin County impose a 3% local-option marijuana excise tax on the retail value of all medical marijuana and all medical marijuana products sold within Gallatin County? In accordance with Montana law, the revenue of the local-option marijuana excise tax may be used for any activity, undertaking, or administrative service that the County is authorized by law to perform, including costs resulting from the imposition of the tax or due to administrative burdens imposed on the County as a result of licensing or regulatory requirements.

FOR a 3% (three percent) Marijuana Local-Option Excise Tax for all medical marijuana and medical marijuana products.

AGAINST a 3% (three percent) Marijuana Local-Option Excise Tax for all medical marijuana and medical marijuana products."

The ballot language for the second question will be:

"Shall Gallatin County impose a 3% local-option marijuana excise tax on the retail value of all non-medical marijuana and all non-medical marijuana products sold within Gallatin County?

In accordance with Montana law, the revenue of the local-option marijuana excise tax may be used for any activity, undertaking, or administrative service that the County is authorized by law to perform, including costs resulting from the imposition of the tax or due to administrative burdens imposed on the County as a result of licensing or regulatory requirements.

FOR a 3% (three percent) Marijuana Local-Option Excise Tax for all non-medical marijuana and non-medical marijuana products

AGAINST a 3% (three percent) Marijuana Local-Option Excise Tax for all non-medical marijuana and non-medical marijuana products."

What would money collected from the taxes be used for?

If voters in an eligible county pass a local-option marijuana tax, 50% of the tax must be retained by the county, 45% apportioned to the cities and towns in the county based on population, and the remained 5% given to the Montana Department of Revenue to defray state costs associated with the tax.

State law allows counties or cities and towns that receive local-option sales tax revenue for any activity, undertaking or administrative service authorized by law, including costs resulting from the imposition of the tax.

Gallatin County Commissioners would use the county's portion of the tax revenue to fund mental health services.

If voters approve the taxes, when would they go into effect?

If passed, the taxes would be effective starting Oct. 1, 2022.

How much money are the taxes estimated to collect?

Based on data from the Montana Department of Revenue, if trends from January, February, March and April marijuana sales in Gallatin County persist, we anticipate the two taxes could generate roughly a combined $1.3 million annually.

How many marijuana dispensaries are in Gallatin County?

As of March 17, 2022, there were 72 licensed marijuana dispensaries in Gallatin County, according to data from the Montana Department of Revenue.