Montana Marijuana Implementation Bill Moves Forward In Senate, With Changes Making It Closer To What Voters Approved

MJ moment

Lawmakers are restoring funding for conservation programs, allowing home cultivation and making sure legalization will continue even if certain provisions are struck down in court. By Arren Kimbel-Sannit, Daily Montanan They may have just missed 4/20, by which point they had hoped to see House Bill 701 hit the floor, but a committee of Senate lawmakers succeeded Wednesday evening in passing a heavily amended version of a bill to implement and tax recreational marijuana in Montana, one of the final priorities of a legislative session nearing its close. Among the many changes that the Senate Select Committee on Marijuana Laws made to the bill before passing it on a voice vote is to partially restore some funding in the bill for conservation and land easements—allocations that existed in Ballot Initiative 190, a legalization proposal that voters approved last year, but that received pushback from Republicans who argued that only the Legislature has the right to make spending decisions, not the voters. The version of the flagship pot bill that emerged from committee Wednesday also allows for limited home-grow of marijuana, some local taxation and provides a compromise on the sticky issue of a locality’s right to refuse to authorize recreational marijuana. An amendment that lawmakers on the committee passed Wednesday first directs marijuana revenues—recreational pot will be taxed at 20 percent, as it stands now—to the Department of Revenue, then $6 million to substance abuse prevention program called the HEART Fund, of which a chunk goes to tribal healthcare, with 20 percent of the remaining sum going to Habitat Montana, a program to fund conservation easements. From there, 4 percent each of the remainder goes to parks, trail maintenance and non-game wildlife habitats, with several hundred thousand dollars then going to care for veterans and programs within the Department of…

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Source : Montana Marijuana Implementation Bill Moves Forward In Senate, With Changes Making It Closer To What Voters Approved

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