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A bill proposes increasing the tax on medical marijuana providers in the state, while also making it easier for patients to get cannabis from other providers.

Senate Bill 265 would increase the tax on marijuana product providers' gross sales from two to four percent.

This bill would also "untether" the patient from the provider and allow them to go to any other medical marijuana dispensary. Patients would still be limited in how much cannabis they can possess, and sales would still be tracked by the state.

According to bill sponsor Tom Jacobson of Great Falls, this would help a cardholder switch providers or obtain cannabis while traveling.

Jacobson says since Montana's medical marijuana program is still relatively new, the revisions in this bill will help the Department of Public Health and Human Services get more clarity in the law as they enforce the rules.

The money generated from this bill will be deposited into the state's special revenue fund, which will help the department administer the medical marijuana program.

“We just wanted to make sure that there was no question that the department would have all of the resources it needed to do its job,” said Jacobson when asked how the extra tax money will be used.

This would also add new requirements for who can be issued a medical marijuana card and license, and also allow the department to distribute temporary cards.

This bill has passed the Senate and will be heard in the House Taxation Committee on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.

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