Montana lawmakers have rejected the Department of Revenue’s request to fund the state’s adult-use cannabis program, according to an AP News report.
The department asked the House Appropriations Committee for $1.35 million to pay for the employees, office equipment and operating expenses needed to launch the program, the news outlet reported, but Rep. Bill Mercer declined the request, calling it a “huge tranche of money.” The committee then voted 23-2 in favor of Mercer’s amendment to refuse the funding, according to AP News.
Montana voters approved an adult-use cannabis legalization measure in the November election, and the Department of Revenue has announced that it will make business licenses available by Oct. 1, a timeline that was established by the voter-approved initiative.
Kurt Alme, the budget director for Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, has said that the money requested by the Department of Revenue is “needed” in order to ensure deadlines in the measure are met, AP News reported.
A spokesperson for the department told the news outlet that the agency is “committed to implementing the laws that are passed by the legislature."