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Recreational use dispensaries back on the ballot for November

PHILIPSBURG – The opportunity to sell recreational marijuana inside the borders of Granite County got a second shot at the ballot Monday.

Kendrick Richmond, employee at Top Shelf Botanicals in Philipsburg, supports recreation sales but saw the bill created by SafeMontana to prevent them win by a skant 77 votes, 717-640. But according to Kendrick and others, the wording of the initiative made it unclear as to what exactly you were voting for. So Richmond and his supporters worked to get measure back on the ballot November 8 with what he thinks is vastly clearer language.

The first hurdle was to get the required 375 signatures of registered county voters. Monday the Granite County Clerk and Recorder confirmed that the measure had collected 394 official signatures.

“I think now that we’ve gotten the signatures, some turned in at the 11th hour … I personally feel pretty confident about it,” related Richmond in a phone interview Monday. “I feel better that we’ve gotten the signatures and now it’s just getting out there and informing people about it. In my perfect world, we’d sell recreational marijuana and have the 3% tax on that.”

Richmond estimated that Top Shelf Botanicals is roughly split about 75% to 25% in sales of recreational vs. medical marijuana, suggesting to the Granite County Commissioners that a 3% tax be imposed on recreational sales to catch the “tourism” traffic as it comes through. The county commissioners started entertaining a 3% tax on recreational and medical sales in December 2021, and are now adding those to the ballot as well for voters to decide.

The November ballot consists three measures on the issue. The first will be whether or not the sale of recreational marijuana should be allowed in Granite County. The second will address a potential 3% sales tax on recreational sales, while the third will address a 3% tax on medicinal sales.

Under current law, Top Shelf Botanicals can sell recreational use marijuana until September 4, 2022. If the measure to allow recreational sales passes, it would then be up to the Department of Revenue Attorney as to when Top Shelf could resume recreational sales.

The three ballot measures are listed below with the exact wording as they will appear on the November ballot.

Ballot Measure #1

Shall Licensed, Adult-use Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries be allowed in Granite County, Montana?

Ballot Measure #2

If non-medical (specifically, adult-use recreational marijuana) dispensaries are allowed in Granite County by vote of the people, shall Granite County impose a 3% local-option marijuana excise tax on the retail value of all non-medical marijuana and non-medical marijuana products sold within Granite County, Montana?

Ballot Measure #3

Shall Granite County impose a 3% local-option marijuana excise tax on the retail value of all medical marijuana and medical marijuana products sold within Granite County, Montana?


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