Montana medical cannabis providers have until Oct. 15, 2017, to file and pay their taxes for sales made in July, August and September. This represents the first time the state’s Department of Revenue has collected taxes on medical cannabis sales, as reported by KTVH.
“They’re finding it fairly easy to comply with the statute in remitting the tax, so we think things are going pretty well,” said Gene Walborn, the deputy director for the Department of Revenue.
This past April, lawmakers scrambled to pass Senate Bill 333, a regulatory tax bill that implements a 4% tax on gross sales throughout the first year of the Montana medical cannabis program and then drops down to 2% in the program’s second year.
The money collected from the tax will go toward expanding the program’s regulatory systems by implementing things like tracking systems for cannabis facilities.
The state’s medical cannabis industry mainly functions on cash transactions; because of this, the DOR expected some providers to pay their taxes in cash, but that hasn’t happened. As of Oct. 3, Walborn noted that the department hadn’t received one cash payment, with providers opting to make electronic payments instead.
“We’re hopeful that that trend continues, but we do expect some cash coming in,” he said.
As the years go on, Walborn expects the Montana medical cannabis tax process to improve.
“I think after this first quarter, we’ll work out any additional bugs that we have to work out,” he said. “We’ll only get better from here.”