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Kansas City-area voters overwhelmingly support new recreational marijuana taxes

Decision 2023 Marijuana Web 1920x1080.jpg
Posted at 11:13 PM, Apr 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-05 13:08:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The cost of recreational marijuana is going up across the Kansas City area.

Five months after Missouri voters legalized recreational weed in the state, voters were back at the polls Tuesday with more than two dozen marijuana sales-tax questions on ballots across the Kansas City area.

The people overwhelmingly supported higher taxes on weed sales across the board with every jurisdiction passing a 3% sales tax with at least 65% of the vote.

The sales tax will go into effect in October 2023, according to Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas, who is one step closer to a second-term as mayor after Tuesday's election.

“Unlike in so many other states, we are thrilled to see communities all across Missouri embrace having cannabis facilities as part of their local economy,” MoCannTrade Executive Director Andrew Mullins said in a statement. “Already the Missouri cannabis industry has created more than 14,000 direct jobs, surpassed $100 million in the first month of adult use sales, and has generated billions in economic activity. Missouri’s adult use marijuana program is already drawing national and international acclaim as one of the most customer-friendly in the nation and today’s votes show that hundreds of communities in every corner of the Show-Me-State [sic] want to be part of one of Missouri’s newest and most flourishing industries.”

MoCann Trade is a trade association for the cannabis industry in Missouri.

Two counties — Cass and Jackson counties — and 29 municipalities passed new sales tax on recreational marijuana sales, though the issue of whether cities and counties can “stack” such taxes atop the existing taxes may wind up being settled in court.

Recreational marijuana sales already are subject to the standard retail sales tax and an additional 6% statewide tax, which was part of the constitutional amendment passed last November.

Sixty-five of Jackson County voters and 71% of Cass County voters passed countywide sales tax hikes for recreational marijuana.

Even if a court later decides it’s illegal for cities and counties to both tax such sales, the tax would impact sales in unincorporated areas of those counties.

Some cities don’t have dispensaries that are licensed by Missouri to sell marijuana, but the tax would go into effect if one ever opened within city limits.

The weed tax passed with 73% of the vote in Kansas City, Missouri, which also passed new taxes on short-term rentals.

Independence, which will use the money for public safety, celebrated the sales-tax’s passage.

“Independence has long supported our first responders and the vote tonight shows that once again, our residents have their back,” Mayor Rory Rowland said. “With the sales tax revenue, we will begin taking the steps necessary to plan and design a new public safety facility. And we will address other needs of our dispatchers, Fire Department, and Emergency Preparedness teams. This is the first step toward a renewed promise to all those that serve and sacrifice for our community — we want you to be safe, and we want you to have the facilities and resources you need to keep our community safe.”