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Cape County considers local marijuana sales tax

Cape Girardeau County Commissioners are considering supporting a local marijuana sales tax, after the passage of Missouri Amendment 3 during the midterm election in November.

The commission voted on Dec. 22 to advertise a public hearing where the commissioners will make a decision on whether to put the sales tax on the ballot on April 4.

“There’s an opportunity for local municipalities to put a sales tax on sales at dispensaries,” Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy said.

Amendment 3, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, legalized the purchase, possession, use and selling of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 in Missouri.

In addition, the amendment established a six percent statewide tax on recreational marijuana sales and allows local municipalities to impose an additional three percent sales tax. The local sales tax requires a simple majority of the vote to be implemented.

The amendment passed with 53.1 percent of the vote statewide – though failed to get a majority of Cape Girardeau County voters with only 43.92 percent of votes in favor of the amendment.

“From a kid that remembers Nancy Reagan saying ‘just say no,’ this seems awful strange,” Tracy said.

Commissioner Paul Koeper added that he didn’t see a difference between taxing marijuana sales and taxing alcohol.

While the amendment was officially added to the state’s constitution on Dec. 8, recreational marijuana sales are not expected to begin in Missouri until February.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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