Then the state’s general fund will see 88% of the remaining revenues, according to the review provided to the Montana State News Bureau, while programs related to nongame animals, trails and parks will each get 4% each. That money would be capped at $650,000 across each of the three programs.
Hopkins said Wednesday he believes the projections issued last year “underestimated” the amount of participation in the upcoming market. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, which projected tax revenues could come in over $50 million by the market’s fourth year in business, had said then its estimates were conservative.
The bill is in several ways more prohibitive than the ballot initiative’s language. Businesses must grow indoors, while home grows would be illegal. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, would be limited to 35%. Any marijuana in a vehicle must be locked in a storage compartment, the trunk or the back seat of a trunkless vehicle.
It also extends the enterprise to tribes, allocating a license for each of the eight tribal governments in Montana. Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug, so the tribes’ affiliations with the federal government prohibit its sale on reservation lands. Hopkins’ bill would allow for cultivation and a dispensary located within 25 miles outside of the reservation boundary, if the county agrees.