Dallas, Falls City may tax marijuana

POLK COUNTY — Dallas and Falls City may be following Independence’s lead in taxing marijuana sales.

That is, if Measure 91, which seeks to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, passes during the Nov. 4 general election.

Independence approved its tax Oct. 1 in an effort to avoid the pre-emption on taxes in Measure 91 (see related story, Page 1A).

Now Dallas and Falls City will rush to implement similar taxes ahead of the election, which in theory would allow the cities to tax marijuana sales despite the prohibition written into the ballot measure because they were in place prior to the measure being passed.

Written into Measure 91 is a state tax on marijuana, to be distributed to schools, state and local police, drug treatment and prevention, and mental health. The city taxes, if approved, would be in addition to that.

Both cities will consider taxes on the sales of both medical and recreational marijuana. In each case, the tax under consideration would tax medical marijuana sales 5 percent and recreational sale of the drug 10 percent, though those percentages are subject to change at a later date.

After holding a work session Monday afternoon to discuss the topic, the Dallas City Council voted at its regular meeting later that evening to have city staff draft an ordinance establishing the tax. It will be ready for a first reading at the council’s next meeting on Oct. 20. A final vote approving the ordinance would need to take place during a special meeting, possibly a week later, said Dallas City Attorney — and coincidently, Falls City’s, too — Lane Shetterly.

Falls City will consider its ordinance Thursday at its regular city council meeting and would have to put it through a first and second reading in the same meeting to provide final approval before Nov. 4.

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