BILLINGS — Billings voters are headed to a prohibition of leisure marijuana dispensaries within the metropolis with 55 % saying no in unofficial outcomes Tuesday night time.
Based on Yellowstone County election outcomes, 17,107 voted no and 13,817 voted sure.
Voters have been much more clear on the query of taxing marijuana at 3 % in Yellowstone County. A measure to tax leisure marijuana handed simply at 82 %, whereas the tax on medical marijuana handed with 60 %.
With leisure dispensaries barred from town, that also leaves alternative for already established medical dispensaries to maneuver into town, mentioned Tina Walker-Smith, who owns Canna of Eden, a CBD retailer and hashish schooling service in Billings.
“Right here within the metropolis, medical suppliers will be capable to promote leisure, it doesn’t matter what. And if the leisure dispensaries-only doesn’t go, medical suppliers will nonetheless be capable to promote each and transfer into town in the event that they wish to. I simply don’t suppose many will wish to with these actually restrictive guidelines,” mentioned Smith.
Smith educates native marijuana enterprise individuals about native legal guidelines and basic enterprise practices. She has additionally been a daily at Billings Metropolis Council discussions on marijuana coverage.
The Billings Metropolis Council has been nonetheless has but to finalize its insurance policies regulating marijuana companies.
Even after the voters mentioned no to leisure dispensaries, there are nonetheless six different sorts of marijuana companies town has to control. They embrace: cultivation, producer, medical marijuana dispensary, mixed use licenses, testing lab and transportation.
The Council is scheduled to have a closing vote on its marijuana enterprise rules subsequent Monday on Nov. 8. Click here to learn the assembly agenda and proposed rules.
Yellowstone County will accumulate the three % tax, and maintain on to 50 % of the income every year. Forty-five % of the yearly income will probably be dolled out to the county’s municipalities, like Billings and Laurel, based mostly on inhabitants. The remaining 5 % per 12 months will return to the state Division of Income.
It’s estimated that by 12 months 5 of the tax, Billings would see between $250,000 to $350,000 per 12 months.
This election might function a extra particular barometer to how Yellowstone County feels about marijuana. In 2020, Yellowstone County voters handed I-190, legalizing marijuana throughout the state, by a skinny margin of 1,142 votes.
The leisure dispensary’s failure in Billings won’t bode effectively for the roughly 26 medical marijuana dispensaries in Yellowstone County that may be capable to promote leisure marijuana to adults over the age of 21 at the beginning of the 12 months.
Steve Zabawa co-owns Rimrock Subaru in Billings and is director of SafeMontana, an anti-marijuana and drug group. He mentioned he plans to strain the county commissioners for an additional county-wide marijuana election, to place a cease to marijuana in Yellowstone County altogether.
“(Commissioner) John Ostlund instructed me that he would take a tough take a look at it if town of Billings voted to choose out, he would check out placing it up on the poll in June 2022 and I’m going to carry him to that. So we’ll see what occurs.”
Zabawa’s group was a part of a lawsuit filed last year to overturn I-190, alleging the initiative went in opposition to the Montana structure and took away the Legislature’s soul proper to applicable tax income. The lawsuit was voluntarily dropped in June this 12 months, according to Yellowstone County News.
Zabawa mentioned he is acquired his eye on the 2023 Montana Legislative Session to repeal HB 701, which is the framework for legalization handed by the Legislature in 2021.
“I don’t consider the state of Montana will vote for legalization. They candy-coated it the final time, Christmas got here early. They acquired the additional votes from veterans and individuals who would by no means have by no means voted for this craziness as a result of they have been promised cash. And that cash isn’t taking place. So we’ve actually acquired to watch out of what we promise,” Zabawa mentioned.