The recreational cannabis market in Montana kicked off in the first week of the new year and sales were on fire.

The state topped $1.5 million in sales in its first weekend, according to the state revenue department.

With a statewide 20% sales tax on recreational cannabis, that opening weekend haul came to $1,566,980, which amounts to $313,396 in tax revenue for Montana.

Montana’s Department of Revenue’s Cannabis Control Division tallied a combined total of $1,999,597 with recreational and medical sales last Saturday and Sunday.

The 4% tax on the $432,617 in medical sales provided an additional $17,305 in tax revenue to the state.

Kristan Barbour, Cannabis Control Division administrator for the Department of Revenue, remarked, “The rollout of the adult-use program went off without any issues from the department’s supported IT systems,” to the Independent Record.

Barbour added, “We were able to successfully verify with (the) industry that our licensing and seed to sales systems were working on Friday to ensure a successful launch on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. The successful launch was a result of staff’s hard work and planning over the past six month to meet the challenges of implementing HB 701.”

Recreational cannabis sales in the state went live in 29 counties on New Year’s Day, while 27 continue a ban on recreational cannabis.

Missoula, Yellowstone, Park and Dawson counties have each implemented an additional 3% local sales tax in recent elections, but these taxes do not go into effect until 90 days after the elections to implement the tax, and do not factor into the weekend sales numbers.

The Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning projected $130 million in recreational sales in 2022, climbing to $195.5 million in 2023 once the moratorium on new businesses ends.

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