Missouri municipalities may ‘stack’ taxes on cannabis operators, judge says

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Municipal governments in Missouri may stack additional taxes on adult-use cannabis sales on top of the 6% state tax, according to a judge’s ruling.

Cannabis producer Robust Missouri filed a lawsuit challenging whether the constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana in the state was “intended for local governments (such as counties and cities) to be able to impose a maximum of 3% sales combined, or if they can each impose a 3% sales tax,” according to the Missouri Independent.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Brian May on Thursday clarified that both counties and cities may both impose taxes on cannabis sales.

“If (Robust’s) interpretation were accepted, then a municipality or city would essentially be given carte blanche to ignore any county ordinance or regulation, including those related to public health and safety wholly unrelated to the taxing issue,” May said in his ruling.

Andrew Mullins, executive director of the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association, warned in a statement to the nonprofit news outlet that high taxes can help fuel the illicit market, which doesn’t pay taxes and can thus sell products for less.

“We know from other states that when legal marijuana is taxed unnecessarily high, it only helps the illicit market, which deprives Missouri veterans and substance abuse programs of needed revenue,” Mullins said.

Robust Missouri is appealing the judge’s ruling, the Missouri Independent reported.

Another company, St. Joseph-based Vertical Enterprise, has a pending tax case in Buchanan County.

2024 MJBiz Factbook – now available!  

Exclusive industry data and analysis to help you make informed business decisions and avoid costly missteps. All the facts, none of the hype. 

Featured inside: 

  • Financial forecasts + capital investment trends 
  • 200+ pages and 49 charts highlighting key data figures and sales trends 
  • State-by-state guide to regulations, taxes & market opportunities
  • Monthly and quarterly updates, with new data & insights
  • And more!