What Can Cannabis Do For Montana?

When Montana turned a territory in 1864, its legislators chose as its motto the Spanish phrases “Oro Y Plata” which indicates “Gold and Silver.” Gold and silver discoveries introduced men and women to the new territory in droves, and everyone expected to get prosperous.

Near the North entrance of Yellowstone in Park County, Montana

At present, the latest gold rush to open up up in Montana is the state’s adult use cannabis sector, which started procedure this earlier January 1, 2022. The Cannabis Management Division (CCD) of the Montana Section of Income expects overall adult profits in 2022 to leading $130M. With a populace just above a million citizens, that functions out to about $120 for every person, which would be far more than California’s benchmark $111 per individual. Montana’s cannabis market is expecting interesting and enriching moments in advance!

We recommend our Montana clients to be careful, even so, and to maintain an eye on the “cannabis tax ball.” Why? You can be killing it in gross sales but however get dragged less than by a major tax load, particularly in grownup use revenue, or even worse, not hold up with your tax obligations and operate afoul of the Office of Revenue or Massive Brother IRS.

Montana’s original foray into hashish began in 2004, when the condition passed Initiative I-148, allowing for affected individual cultivation and use of cannabis but still left the legality of commercial sales ambiguous.1 The government reactionaries jumped in and utilised legislative motion to tighten and limit that legislation.2 Then, in 2016, Montana voters legalized the medicinal sale of cannabis with I-182,3 and in 2021, grownup use was legalized with I-190, permitting present dispensaries to market recreationally starting January 1, 2022 in counties which voted certainly on the initiative.4,5

From a federal taxation standpoint, of class, Montana’s cannabis operators are only allowed to deduct Price of Goods Bought less than Inner Profits Code (IRC) 280E, and in common, the point out of Montana’s tax code conforms with the Internal Revenue Code.6,7 Nevertheless, the Montana Department of Profits departed from the IRC in 2017 and allowed standard business deductions for certified (lawful) cannabis firms.8 The Montana Section of Earnings also interpreted the law for move-by way of entities and individuals with licensed hashish functions to allow deductions of common and important company bills.9 This is what would make it attainable to do business enterprise in cannabis in the point out of Montana.

But what about Montana’s cannabis taxes? How big are they, and how do they evaluate with other states?

Montana expenses a regular income tax as very well as either a 4% cannabis tax on healthcare gross sales or a 20% hashish tax on grownup use (leisure) sales.10 Some superior information: wholesale sales are exempt from this tax.11 More great information: Equally the retail tax and the frequent revenue tax are exempt from the taxable price tag i.e., the condition does not demand “tax on tax.”12,13 However, be warned: be thorough of giving bargains as it is assessed on the common retail cost somewhat than the actual discounted value.

Pray, a city in close proximity to Livingston, Montana

Montana assesses the Hashish Tax on the retail price and excludes bargains or even product specified away.14 As of this crafting, Park, Yellowstone and Missoula (clinical only for Missoula) Counties have an more 3% Community Alternative Tax primarily based on the similar condition retail rate definition with an exclusion for special discounts or gifted solutions.15

So, with all these unique taxes, is Montana basically a low tax state for cannabis? To start with, the state is at minimum “in the ball game” by letting the deduction of normal running expenses on state income taxes. In addition, Montana has a reasonably minimal tax which only applies at the retail amount for health-related gross sales and a fairly high tax on grownup use. Grownup use tends to be the extensive the vast majority of gross sales for dispensaries, so this does not bode perfectly for retail hashish operators.16

But just before you toss in the towel and start out seeking to shift to California (or Oklahoma, another cannabis-helpful state), a appear at the complete Montana hashish picture provides a rosier outlook. Montana earnings tax is somewhat small, and because cultivators and producers do not have to pay any hashish excise taxes (especially as in contrast to California, with its cultivation tax and a purposeful 27% excise tax charged to suppliers – a tax theoretically assessed to the purchaser but in reality billed by a distributor to a retailer) or cultivation taxes on pounds that enters the commercial market. All-in-all, Montana is basically a minimal-tax state for hashish operators!

Disclaimer: This write-up has been organized and revealed for informational functions only and is not provided, nor should really be construed, as lawful suggestions.


  1. https://ballotpedia.org/Montana_Health care_Marijuana_Allowance,_I-148_(2004)
  2. https://legiscan.com/MT/textual content/SB423/id/277384
  3. https://sosmt.gov/Portals/142/Elections/archives/2010s/2016/I-182.pdf
  4. https://sosmt.gov/wp-information/uploads/I-190.pdf
  5. https://leg.mt.gov/expenses/2021/billpdf/HB0701.pdf
  6. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 30 Portion 21 10 (2021)
  7. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 31 Element 1 13 (2021)
  8. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 31 Portion 1 14 (2021)
  9. Montana Office of Profits, “Montana Tax Information You Can Use,’ December 14th 2017.
  10. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 64 Section 1 02 (2021)
  11. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 64 Component 1 02 (2021)
  12. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 68 Component 1 01 (2021)
  13. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 64 Part 1 01 (2021)
  14. Montana Code Title 15, Chap. 64 Component 1 01 (2021)
  15. https://montana.servicenowservices.com/citizen/kb?sys_kb_id=37c9bc641bbcc150d707a82eac4bcb67&id=kb_article_view&sysparm_rank=1&sysparm_tsqueryId=a2d72fcd1b380950135cebdbac4bcbc8
  16. Author’s expertise with consumers from California Oregon, Washington State and Nevada states with both of those adult use and health-related profits as of this writing. Montana does not have a professional grownup use program as of this creating.