Kansas City Council Votes to Include a Sales Tax on Marijuana on The April Ballot.

Kansas City Council Votes to Include a Sales Tax on Marijuana on The April Ballot.

A 3% local sales tax on recreational marijuana was passed by the Kansas City Council on Thursday. Ultimately, the decision rests with the electorate.

The council approved the sales tax on marijuana topic by a vote of 11-2. The only two council members to vote no were Heather Hall and Brandon Ellington.

The maximum sales tax that a community can impose on recreational marijuana in Missouri is three percent, thanks to Amendment 3.

In addition, the state will add a 6% sales tax to all recreational marijuana purchases.

Medical marijuana purchasers in Kansas City will not be subject to the city’s sales tax, and patients in the state will continue to pay the same 4% rate.

Nonetheless, Kansas City anticipates $300 million in marijuana sales within its borders over the next five years, and leaders estimate the local tax may eventually add up to $10 million annually.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas told FOX4 in the past that “this 3% allows us to spend in neighborhood quality of life — in garbage pick-up, in homelessness prevention, and, significantly, crime prevention” – three areas that are routinely underfunded.

Hall, though, contended that the levy is discriminatory because it targets unnamed micro-dispensaries. The Kansas City chapter of NORML, which advocates for the legalization of marijuana, agrees.

Ellington said that he was worried that a second tax on marijuana would lead to the development of an underground market.

To see the full picture, “people need to be conscious when we talk about the amount of money that drugs make,” as Ellington put it. And if it’s legal, as you can see in every market, individuals will always try to undercut pricing.

To which Lucas retorted, “there is already a healthy and steady black market of marijuana.”

However, the $300 million sales projection is far greater than other estimates around Jackson County, and Lucas believes this is due to the convenience of purchasing from a dispensary.

There are “a couple of things” that could help us get there, Lucas added. First, if Kansas does not legalize marijuana, I believe the market in Kansas City will expand. The number of cities where marijuana is a big tourist attraction is growing.

However, this tax can only be levied if citizens agree on it. Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, will have the opportunity to weigh in on the issue of the local marijuana sales tax in the upcoming municipal election on April 4.

Two additional Kansas City-area municipalities have already chosen to add a marijuana tax measure to their respective April ballots. The tax will be put to a vote in Raytown and Liberty this spring.

Independent, Belton, and Grandview are just a few of the other municipalities giving serious thought to imposing their own marijuana taxes. For the April ballot, city leaders must make a call before the end of the month.

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