RAYTOWN, Mo. — The first city in the Kansas City metro has taken steps to tax recreational marijuana sales at the local level. Now they need voters to approve the plan.
The first city blazing forward on the question — that’s Raytown. There’s currently only one dispensary within its borders: a From The Earth on Highway 350.
Places like Kansas City and Independence are looking at similar plans to add an April ballot question asking about local recreational marijuana taxes.
Already laid out under Amendment 3, the state of Missouri will collect a 6% sales tax on recreational marijuana purchases. That’s not very concerning for people wanting to get into a dispensary without a medical marijuana card.
“Right now, that probably consists of about 80-90% of our phone calls,” said Katie Woroniak, store manager at From The Earth in Raytown.
“The couple days following the election, it was hard to get the phone to stop ringing,” Tyler Diltz, vice president of retail for From The Earth, said.
Diltz said he’s been a part of conversations with cities about potential local taxes. On Tuesday, Raytown became the first approving this ballot question for April.
The ballot question is planned to read:
“Shall the city of Raytown impose an additional sales tax of three percent (3%) on the retail sale of adult use non-medicinal marijuana?
“Notes: the tax collected under this provision would not apply to medical marijuana.“
At the Raytown dispensary, 3% feels fair, if not competitive.
“You look at other states like Illinois and Washington that have additional, up to 20% plus taxes on recreational purchases on top of their traditional sales tax,” Diltz said.
Raytown’s low-ball estimate — if the tax is approved — comes in at about $60,000 of annual revenue. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound like a lot. But cities with more dispensaries, logically, could use the same framework to bring in more money.
It’s something both Kansas City and Independence are considering. But Raytown is the first.
“It’s a fast-growing city, so we do think they’ll put that money to good use,” Diltz said.
If approved, that municipal tax money would go to the general fund much like taxes on alcohol and tobacco.
There will also be a clearer picture of the recreational marijuana rollout from the state, including rules and regulations, on Feb. 6.