St. Louis, U City Among Locales Weighing Recreational Weed Tax

Missouri's constitutional amendment for legal weed allows municipalities to add a 3 percent tax onto recreational sales

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click to enlarge Recreational marijuana taxes under any Missouri city's proposal would still be less than weed taxes in Illinois. - RUSTY BLAZENHOFF/FLICKR
Recreational marijuana taxes under any Missouri city's proposal would still be less than weed taxes in Illinois.

St. Louis city and at least five municipalities in St. Louis County are considering additional sales taxes on recreational marijuana sales.

Missouri’s constitutional amendment for recreational weed allows municipalities to levy a 3 percent retail tax on recreational marijuana purchases in addition to a 6 percent state tax. So far, all the Missouri cities proposing such a tax are leaning toward the 3 percent maximum. Voters will give the final OK to any city’s proposal in the April 4 general municipal election.

In St. Louis city, a board bill sponsored by St. Louis Alderman Brandon Bosley calls for revenue from the tax to go toward addressing “historic inequities.” According to the bill’s text, this may or may not include funding access to education, workforce opportunities and youth engagement.

In a phone call Friday, Bosley tells the RFT the tax could also help fund curfew centers. He recently introduced a bill to impose a curfew for the city’s youth. Additionally, he says the tax could in part help fund reparations. What exactly the marijuana tax would ultimately be used for, though, is still very much up in the air.

“There’s a plethora of ideas that are being thrown around,” Bosley says.

In any case, revenue generated from the tax would go to the city’s general fund. Bosley said the tax could generate approximately $300,000 a year, an estimate he based off of current marijuana sales in St. Louis.

Other cities considering a recreational marijuana tax include University City, O’Fallon, Chesterfield, Olivette and Maryland Heights. Most city councils will hold first readings of bills for the tax during meetings this week.

Plans are still up in the air for many cities, including Chesterfield and Maryland Heights, whose city clerks tell the RFT that legislation is still being drafted.

Some municipalities considering a recreational marijuana tax house no dispensaries, including Olivette, where residents strongly protested a special use permit for a medical marijuana cultivation facility earlier this year. How much a tax on recreational marijuana could generate for these cities is unclear.

Regardless of whether municipalities pass an additional marijuana tax, marijuana will still be taxed less for medical users. Medicinal marijuana kept its 4 percent tax after Missouri voters passed recreational marijuana.

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About The Author

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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