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Mid-Missouri cities consider local sales taxes on recreational marijuana

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Two prominent Mid-Missouri cities, Columbia and Jefferson City, are planning to discuss the possibility of adding a 3% local sales tax for recreational marijuana at their next City Council meetings.

Amendment 3 was approved by Missouri voters during the Nov. 8 election with more than 53% of votes in favor. Missouri residents 21 years old and older can now legally possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana since the amendment was officially added to the state's constitution Thursday.

Part of Amendment 3 allows municipalities to implement an optional 3% local sales tax on recreational marijuana. This would go on top of the state's 6% sales tax. In order for a city to put it in place, it has to pass a popular vote of the general public.

On Wednesday, the day before Amendment 3 was added to the Missouri Constitution, Jefferson City's Administration Committee met and City Lawyer Ryan Moehlman presented "Adult Use Marijuana Sales Tax."

Moehlman said the possibility of implementing the sales tax will be on the agenda for the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19.

"The issue that would be taken up by the City Council is whether to submit that ballot measure to the voters," Moehlman said.

Moehlman said it's too early to know what the tax money may be put towards, if passed.

At the end of Monday's Columbia City Council meeting, City Counselor Nancy Thompson updated the council on the plan to address local sales tax and the city's human resources policy following the implementation of Amendment 3.

"Because recreational [marijuana] has the potential to become effective 60 days from now, we will be revising internally the HR policies as well as city code provisions," Thompson said.

Columbia City Council also plans to take up the possibility of local sales tax on recreational marijuana at its Dec. 19 meeting. Sydney Olsen, spokesperson for City of Columbia, said zoning regulations for marijuana use will also be part of the discussion.

There are seven licensed medical marijuana facilities in Columbia, while there are two licensed medical dispensaries in Jefferson City.

Medical marijuana businesses have the ability to apply for recreational licenses starting Thursday. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 296 businesses asked the state to roll their medical licenses into recreational in the first 24 hours -- which is nearly 92% of all dispensaries, growers and manufacturers in the state.

The state estimates the first date people can buy recreational marijuana will be Feb. 8, 2023.

Smaller businesses wanting to get into the marijuana business will be able to apply for one of the 144 micro-licenses starting June 6, 2023. Those will be given out lottery-style in waves of 48 at a time, according to DHSS.

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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