HELENA — After months of preparation and planning, Montana marijuana dispensaries made their first sales to adult-use customers on Saturday morning, Jan. 1, 2022. Most providers MTN talked to Tuesday said the first weekend was a success.
An estimated 380 dispensaries in 29 counties are now able to sell marijuana to both medical and recreational customers. The Montana Department of Revenue reported that they recorded a combined $1,566,980 in marijuana sales on Saturday and Sunday.
There’s no immediate indication how much higher that figure is than typical, but a number of dispensary managers told MTN they saw several times as much business this weekend as they normally would. They said the vast majority of those sales were to adult-use customers, with medical marijuana patients generally having stocked up before the launch.
Several businesses reported minor technical issues when they opened on Saturday, but they said the first day generally went smoothly.
For the next 18 months, only dispensaries that had been licensed prior to the legalization initiative in November 2020 can make recreational sales.
The state has placed a 20% tax on recreational sales, compared to 4% on medical sales. That means the first weekend’s sales alone could potentially raise up to $313,000 in state revenues.
Voters in several counties have also approved 3% local option taxes on marijuana, which won’t go into effect for a few more weeks. Yellowstone, Park and Dawson Counties will put the tax on both medical and adult-use marijuana. Missoula County voters approved the tax for adult-use sales but voted against putting it on medical marijuana.