Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 2/23/21
In November 2020, Montana voters passed Initiative 190, which allows recreational marijuana sales starting in 2022. Rep. Bill Mercer of Billings recently presented House Bill 457, which would delay that deadline by one year. Mercer claims the state is not prepared for what he calls a “Herculean effort” it will take to start selling marijuana in the state, claiming that it would take a massive expansion of government. He is also a supporter of a Helena lawsuit that challenges recreational marijuana sales, stating that it illegally generates revenue and appropriates money. Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Gianforte and his administration are working on a way to properly distribute tax revenue in the state. They have so far chosen eight different programs, “including state parks, wildlife habitat acquisition, veterans’ services, local governments and some health-care workers’ pay,” according to KTVH.