Will Marijuana Taxes Decrease in Missouri? The Battle Over County Marijuana Taxes
In a significant legal battle that could reshape the landscape of marijuana taxes in Missouri, a cannabis dispensary in northwestern Missouri has taken a stand against county-imposed sales taxes. Vertical Enterprise, based in St. Joseph, argues in a lawsuit filed last month that these county taxes violate the state constitution.
The heart of this dispute revolves around whether counties can impose their own cannabis sales taxes in incorporated areas, such as St. Joseph, despite a constitutional amendment legalizing cannabis in 2022.
The outcome of this litigation could have far-reaching implications, particularly in eastern Missouri, where St. Louis County and St. Charles County have chosen to collect a 3% tax in incorporated areas, in addition to the 3% sales taxes already imposed by municipalities.
In this comprehensive examination, we will delve into the specifics of this lawsuit, the impact on consumers, and the broader implications for the cannabis landscape in Missouri.
Furthermore, we will emphasize the ongoing importance of the medical marijuana program and why obtaining a medical marijuana card is a prudent choice.
The Legal Challenge
Vertical Enterprise's lawsuit asserts that the 2022 constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis in Missouri explicitly prohibits counties from imposing their own cannabis sales tax in incorporated areas. They contend that the wording of the amendment clearly forbids the 6% total local cannabis tax in incorporated regions, and they are taking this legal action to challenge the county's authority to impose such taxes.
Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association, has predicted that the courts or the Missouri Department of Revenue will ultimately decide whether county taxes are permissible in cities. He has also announced that a separate lawsuit challenging these county taxes will be filed in the coming days, expressing support for all efforts to halt what he considers a "money grab" by counties.
The Impact on Consumers
If county taxes are upheld, consumers may face a considerable financial burden. Alongside regular sales taxes and the 6% state levy on recreational sales, the addition of county taxes could result in a total tax of approximately 20% at dispensaries. This significant tax rate might deter some consumers and potentially drive them to seek alternative sources, including the illicit market. The high taxation rate could also undermine the competitiveness of the legal market.
Bob Schnur, the assistant director of administration for St. Charles County, emphasizes that their 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales has already taken effect countywide, echoing the sentiment that general sales taxes are applied consistently. Similarly, a spokesman for St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has confirmed that St. Louis County's tax has also been in effect, which collectively represents a significant source of potential revenue for these counties.
Vertical Enterprise's Bold Stand
Vertical Enterprise is the first legal operator in Missouri to challenge county taxes in cities. Their lawsuit, filed on September 12, reveals that the Buchanan County collector of revenue had not yet collected taxes from Vertical, and Vertical had not made any tax payments.
The company has made the ethical decision to refuse to collect taxes from consumers, highlighting the complexities of implementing and returning these taxes in a manner that would be both ethically responsible and practical.
The lawsuit relies on the constitutional amendment's text, which allows a "local government" to impose a 3% tax on recreational sales. It carefully defines a local government as "in the case of an incorporated area, a village, town, or city and, in the case of an unincorporated area, a county."
Vertical's argument is that Buchanan County does not qualify as a "local government" concerning their operations in St. Joseph because the county is not a village, town, or city. Thus, Buchanan County's tax on marijuana sales within the city limits of St. Joseph is not authorized.
Circuit Judge Daniel Kellogg has been assigned to preside over the Buchanan County case, with a trial date set for December 8.
The Enduring Value of Medical Marijuana
As this legal battle unfolds, it's crucial to emphasize the enduring value and stability of Missouri's medical marijuana program. While the debate over recreational marijuana taxes continues, the medical program remains a reliable and well-established option for patients with qualifying medical conditions.
Why Opt for Medical Marijuana?
The medical marijuana program offers numerous advantages for patients:
Access to specialized healthcare professionals who offer tailored guidance based on specific medical conditions.
Reassurance of rigorous product testing, ensuring safety and quality.
Legal protection for patients, allowing them to access medical cannabis within state laws without fear of legal consequences.
A diverse array of products and strains in medical dispensaries to address a variety of medical conditions and symptoms.
Enhanced control over dosage to achieve desired therapeutic effects.
Potential financial benefits, such as tax exemptions, depending on the state.
The opportunity to consult with knowledgeable budtenders and healthcare professionals to make informed decisions about strains and products.
In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding recreational marijuana taxes, patients should consider the benefits of obtaining a medical marijuana card. The process begins with a medical marijuana evaluation, where a qualified healthcare professional assesses your medical condition to determine if medical marijuana is a suitable treatment.
This evaluation provides valuable guidance on dosing, strains, and consumption methods. Obtaining a medical marijuana card ensures that you can access the relief you need in a legal and structured manner.
The legal dispute over county-imposed marijuana taxes in Missouri highlights the complexities surrounding the implementation of cannabis taxation. As the courts deliberate, consumers face the possibility of higher taxes on their cannabis purchases.
In the midst of this evolving landscape, the medical marijuana program remains a steadfast option for patients seeking relief from medical conditions. It offers the benefit of expert guidance, quality products, and legal protection.
As Missouri navigates the challenging terrain of recreational marijuana taxes, individuals with qualifying medical conditions should explore the medical marijuana program to meet their healthcare needs reliably and effectively.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri Today!
Although marijuana is now legal recreationally in Missouri, you should still get your medical card. If you have any questions, just give us a call!
There are so many benefits to having your medical marijuana card in a recreational state, including being responsible for less in taxes, saving at dispensaries, and higher possession laws.
If you don’t already have your medical marijuana card, we can help! Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. During your evaluation, they will be happy to answer all your questions about how cannabis may be able to help with your anxiety or any other medical conditions.
Schedule an appointment with a marijuana professional online or by giving us a call at
(877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting the relief you can trust today!
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