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Amendment 3 expert says local marijuana sales taxes should not stack


A member of the team who wrote the constitutional amendment that legalized recreational marijuana in Missouri says local governments are not following the law when they double up on sales taxes.

When Amendment 3 went into place after the November 2022 election, local governments gained the option to add a 3% sales tax to recreational marijuana. Many cities and counties jumped on the opportunity to profit from the new law, but it led to some disagreements.

City and county officials faced the task of interpreting law -- some places did not stack local sales taxes while others did. The state already has a 6% sales tax on recreational marijuana, but in some places, cities and counties each added an additional 3%.

In some places, this led to taxes as high as 20%.

Because of this confusion, industry group MoCann Trade filed a lawsuit in October 2023 asking for clarification. The lawsuit is still in the courts.

Dan Viets with Legal Missouri was part of the team that wrote Amendment 3. He told ABC 17 News that he thinks local sales taxes are not meant to be stacked, meaning the most a person should be charged in taxes for recreational marijuana in Missouri is 9%.

“Under the Missouri Constitution, I believe it's clear that only a single 3% local government tax can be added. Some counties and cities have tried to stack them, have tried to add an additional 6%,” Viets said.

Medical marijuana is taxed at 4% in Missouri with no option for local taxes.

Boone County and Columbia each opted in for the local tax and customers in the city limits pay both, for a combined 6% on top of state taxes.

According to Columbia's adopted budget for fiscal 2024, the city anticipates $1 million from recreational marijuana taxes. It plans to transfer that money to general revenue and spend that revenue on public safety, public health and social services.

Columbia's adopted budget plan

On Thursday, ABC 17 News will break down how much the state is making from recreational marijuana taxes and what it's spending that revenue on. Tune into ABC 17 News at 10 p.m. Thursday on KMIZ for the full report.

Article Topic Follows: Special Report

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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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