Jefferson City marijuana tax passes

Jefferson City residents voted by a wide margin to enact a 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

The ballot measure passed with 4,152 votes in favor, or 74.32 percent of the total votes cast on the issue, according to Tuesday evening’s unofficial results.

The City Council unanimously approved a bill in January placing the question on the ballot.

Statewide voters approved a ballot measure in November legalizing the sale and use of marijuana products for adults up to three ounces. The state imposed a 6 percent tax on recreational sales and 4 percent on medical sales, but the city’s addition would only stack on recreational transactions.

City Attorney Ryan Moehlman previously said that, according to statistics from the industry, one dispensary could likely produce upwards of $153,000 of tax revenue annually if sales were as high as medical marijuana. While state taxes were earmarked for the state’s veterans commission, addiction treatment programs, the public defender system and a state treasury fund dedicated to veterans, health and community investment, the city’s tax issue did not cite a specific use for the new revenue.

The state began approving licenses for recreational sales in December as possession officially became legal, and recreational sales began in early February.

Jefferson City is home to two dispensaries, both of which have comprehensive licenses allowing them to sell both recreational and medicinal products.

Cole County voters also approved their own 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

The two sales taxes will stack.

Cole County already has a 1.38 percent general sales tax and Jefferson City has a 3.25 percent sales tax within community improvement districts. Together, the local tax on marijuana will be around 10.63 percent.

The local rate will combine with the state’s sales tax. Missouri has a 4.225 percent general sales tax and a 6 percent tax on recreational marijuana.

Combined with the 10.225 percent total state tax, residents in Jefferson City will face a roughly 20 percent tax on marijuana sales.

See additional election coverage at https://www.newstribune.com/elections/.

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