WASHINGTON — The city will impose a 3 percent sales tax on the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana if Washington gets a dispensary.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday for the sales tax rate — the maximum allowed by the state — while making it clear recreational marijuana sales will not likely take place in Washington in the near future.
While the private use of recreational marijuana for persons age 21 and older will become legal in the state Jan. 1, there's a Sept. 30 deadline to seek state approval for the sales tax.
"All we're voting on tonight (Monday) is the sales tax rate. We're not opening the door for a dispensary," said Alderman Mike Brownfield. "I don't want to close the door for future councils who may want the sales tax revenue."
"It's not likely a dispensary is coming to Washington anytime soon," said Alderman Dave Dingledine. "But what if in, say 20 years, the sale of recreational marijuana is as prevalent as the sale of alcohol? If the state law doesn't change, our city should be able to take advantage of the sales tax revenue."
Mayor Gary Manier, who initially said he was open to the city imposing the sales tax because of the revenue it would generate, once again said he now opposes recreational marijuana sales in Washington.
"I heard from a lot of people who said they don't want legal marijuana sales in our town," he said.
Manier did not vote on the sales tax rate because he votes only a break a tie.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.