Utah medical marijuana dispensaries could face hefty fees

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Utah would charge medical marijuana dispensaries between $50,000 and $69,500 each year in operating fees under a proposal state officials are considering – placing an unexpectedly high financial burden on future MMJ businesses.

An executive with a Washington state-based company interested in opening a dispensary in Utah called the proposed fees a “big pill to swallow” in a public hearing this week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Still, Seth Bailey of Seattle-based Origins Cannabis added that the proposed fee, while substantial, probably wouldn’t deter companies from entering the market.

Dispensary operating fees would depend on the facility’s location and whether it offers home delivery.

Facilities in urban counties would pay more.

The state’s health department plans to refine its proposal, which covers a number of proposed MMJ fees, based on feedback.

The fees are intended to cover the costs of regulating the MMJ industry as well bolstering state revenue.

Lawmakers recently increased the number of private dispensaries from seven to 14 and created a home-delivery option.

Utah’s medical marijuana program is set to launch as soon as March 2020. MJBizDaily projects medical marijuana sales in the $25 million-$35 million range in Utah by 2022, two years after MMJ sales are scheduled to launch.

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– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily