City Won't Know Cannabis Tax Revenue for Months After Dispensary Opens – The Missourian

No Opening Date Set For Washington Dispensary

With Washington’s first medical-use cannabis dispensary poised to open in a matter of weeks, many are wondering how much Washington stands to gain in sales tax revenue. 

City Administrator Darren Lamb said it will take months before Washington will be able to answer that question. 

“We simply do not know what kind of impact the dispensary will have on the city,” Lamb said. “If this dispensary is the third one to open in the metro St. Louis region, then I would expect that we would see quite a few people coming out to get their prescriptions filled, and that would mean more sales tax revenue for the city.” 

A number of factors are contributing to the uncertainty, he explained.

First, the city could be home to two medical-use cannabis dispensaries.

Officials with Missouri Health and Wellness, the parent company of the dispensary at 10 Franklin Ave., said they are ready to open but do not have an opening date set yet. 

A second dispensary, Columbia Care, received a state license to operate at 1380 High St., but the business no longer appears active. 

Another factor is that purchases made at a dispensary will be subject to three separate sales taxes, which could hamper officials’ ability to track a dispensary’s overall impact. 

The three sales taxes are a 1-cent general fund sales tax, a half-cent capital improvement sales tax and a half-cent transportation sales tax. 

The general fund sales tax finances various city entities, including the city’s parks and recreation department and police department. The fund also pays for employee wages and benefits, Lamb said. 

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