Second Missouri judge approves cannabis ‘tax stacking’

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A second judge in Missouri, this time in Buchanan County, ruled that the Buchanan County government can collect an additional tax on adult-use cannabis sales on top of municipal taxes.

“To put it bluntly, the Court cannot accept Petitioner’s interpretation of ‘Local Government’ to prohibit the power of the County to impose such tax within the Saint Joseph City limits,” Circuit Judge Daniel Kellogg wrote in his decision, according to St. Louis TV station KSDK.

“The definition of ‘Local Government’ includes both the City and the County. As such, both are authorized to impose and collect the tax.”

Vertically integrated cannabis company Vertical Enterprise of St. Joseph, Missouri, filed a lawsuit in September 2023 against the Buchanan County Collector’s office, the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Buchanan County Clerk’s office over the additional 3% tax collected by the county.

Cannabis sales taxes already can reach 12% in Missouri, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.

Local governments can issue an additional 3% tax on top of the 6% state tax.

“Consumers should be outraged,” Vertical CEO Chris McHugh told the St. Louis Business Journal. “They’re paying this.”

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Brian May earlier this month similarly ruled that counties and cities may both impose taxes on cannabis sales.