Kansas City, Missouri, marijuana tax to be on ballot in April

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:26 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Now that weed is fully legal in Missouri, expect cities to start trying to cash in.

In Kansas City, the city council took its first step on Thursday. The council approved and ordinance to place a question on the April 4 municipal general election ballot seeking voter approval of a 3% municipal tax on adult-use marijuana sales.

The state constitutional amendment passed by Missouri voters Tuesday specified a 6% state tax and an optional municipal tax of up to 3%.

City voters first need to approve that tax.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said the revenue would first go to the Regulated Industries Division of the Neighborhood Services Department. Regulated Industries currently handles all alcohol sales restrictions.

“We foresee the potential where there’s just a lot more public discussion, public concern relating to marijuana sales nearby,” said Lucas. “We understand that, while we do have licensees with marijuana, there are probably a lot more consumers, a lot more sales and a lot more need for folks to go out and make sure people are following the rules.”

The ordinance notes that local taxes collected from the adult-use marijuana sales can be used “to support regulatory administration, enforcement, and equitable neighborhood quality of life.”

That last category allows the city to branch out. The ordinance specifies the money would go to the following city departments:

  • Neighborhood Services Department
  • Department of Public Works
  • Department of Public Health

It would be used for the following purposes:

  • Administrative support for marijuana and alcohol regulation
  • Code enforcement
  • Neighborhood quality of life
  • Abatement of neighborhood dumping and trash removal

“After we’ve taken care of those other core areas directly responsive to marijuana, how can we make sure we’re taking care of something the public asks us about every day and where there’s never enough funding?” Lucas reasoned. “People have talked about trash problems around Kansas City lately and we’re going to make sure that we’re cleaning it all up.”

Medical marijuana sales would not be subject to this additional local tax.