New Approach Montana aims to put two legalization measures on 2020 ballot

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January
13,
2020




 
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montana legalization ballot initiative

Montana
may
be
one
of
many
states
with
legalization
measures
on
the
Nov.
2020
ballot.
(wellesenterprises/iStock)

Montana
took
a
first
step
towards
putting
cannabis
legalization
on
the
November
2020
ballot
this
afternoon,
as
New
Approach
Montana
submitted
two
ballot
initiatives
to
the
state
attorney
general’s
office
for
legal
vetting.

The
first
of
the
two
initiatives
would
legalize
cannabis
in
Montana
for
adults
aged
21
and
over,
and
establish
a
regulatory
framework
for
cultivation
and
sales.
The
second
is
a
constitutional
amendment
that
would
set
the
legal
minimum
age
for
marijuana
consumption
at
21.

“Montanans
support
legalizing
marijuana
and
setting
the
minimum
age
at
21,”
said
Pepper
Petersen,
spokesperson
for
New
Approach
Montana
in
a
press
release.
“Our
initiatives
will
give
voters
the
opportunity
to
approve
those
laws
at
the
ballot
box
on
Election
Day.
It’s
time
for
Montana
to
stop
wasting
law
enforcement
resources
that
could
be
spent
fighting
more
serious
crime.
We
can
shift
marijuana
out
of
the
illicit
market
and
into
licensed,
regulated,
and
tax-paying
businesses.
At
the
same
time,
we
can
create
jobs
and
generate
significant
new
revenue
for
the
state.”

Cuts
the
medical
marijuana
tax
in
half

New
Approach
Montana
is
sponsoring
both
initiatives,
which
were
were
drafted
with
input
from
Montana
voters,
stakeholders,
and
policy
experts,
establishing
a
legalization
policy
that
builds
upon
the
state’s existing
medical
marijuana
framework.

If
the
measures
are
determined
to
be
constitutionally
legal,
New
Approach
Montana
would
then
have
to
gather
25,468
signatures
to
qualify
the
statutory
initiative
for
the
2020
ballot
and
50,936
signatures
to
qualify
the
constitutional
initiative.

The
statutory
initiative
would
allow
possession
of
up
to
an
ounce
by
adults
aged
21
and
older,
establish
the
Montana
Department
of
Revenue
as
the
state’s
cannabis
regulatory
agency,
give
current
Montana
medical
marijuana
providers
first
entry
into
the
expanded
cannabis
retail
market,
and
reduce
the
tax
on
medical
marijuana
from
2%
to
1%.

Tax
rate
would
be
20%

The
initiative
would
also
set
a
20%
sales
tax
on
cannabis,
which
would
not
apply
to
medical
products.
The
tax
revenue
would
go
to
land,
water,
and
wildlife
conservation
programs;
veteran
services;
substance
abuse
treatment;
long-term
health
care;
local
governments
where
cannabis
is
sold;
and
general
revenue
for
the
state.
New
Approach
Montana
predicts
that
a 20%
cannabis
sales
tax
would
generate
more
than
$37
million
per
year
in
new
revenue
by
2025.

Montana
legalized
medical
cannabis
by
ballot
initiative
with
the
Montana
Medical
Marijuana
Act
in
2004.




 
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