Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch has given approval to the cannabis legalization measure Initiative 178, giving advocates the green light to begin gathering signatures in an attempt to put the initiative to a vote of the people.
Supporters must now collect signatures from at least 5% of registered voters in each of the state’s 34 House districts; these equals a minimum of 24,175 signatures, which would place the initiative on the 2016 general election ballot.
If placed on the ballot and approved into law, the measure would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, and would be authorized to purchase it from a licensed retail outlet. Retail outlets would sell dried cannabis flower, as well as cannabis-infused products such as edibles and tinctures.
The proposal would place a 20% excise tax on cannabis sales. This, combined with licensing fees, would bring in an estimated annual revenue of around $37 million.