Manhattan voters say no to marijuana business, Gallatin says yes to cannabis tax

Voters in Gallatin County approved a sales tax on recreational and medical marijuana, while voters in Manhattan voted against allowing marijuana businesses within city limits.

“Now that they’re banned, nothing in town will change,” Manhattan Mayor Glenn Clements said.

The mayor of Manhattan said there are currently no pharmacies in Manhattan. That will remain the same after voters approved an ordinance banning marijuana businesses in town.

“No marijuana business has applied since the new state legislation,” Clements said.

69% of Manhattan voters voted to ban any marijuana businesses, while 31% favor allowing them.

In Gallatin County, which has 71 dispensaries, voters again approved a 3 percent sales tax on marijuana.

Seventy-three percent of voters favor a tax on recreational marijuana, with less support for a tax on medical marijuana. However, 54% of Gallatin County voters approved the medical marijuana tax.

“I’m glad they decided to do it again,” Gallatin County Commissioner Joe Skinner said.

The county is expected to earn $1.3 million and will keep half, about $688,000. County commissioners are now planning how the money will be used.

“When we do use it for better mental health services, I think that’s going to have some profound implications,” Skinner said.

While it’s too early, Skinner said the new tax revenue could be used to fund county mental health resources and outside groups, including nonprofits.

“We’ve done a lot of mobile crises, and we’ve done a lot in the sheriff’s office,” Skinner said.

Back in Manhattan, the town’s split over the decision to ban marijuana dispensaries has now reached consensus.

“Everybody wants Manhattan to stay the way it is — small and family-oriented,” Clements said.

Tax collection in Gallatin County begins in March 2023.

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