Cape Girardeau police chief says department would benefit from tax on marijuana

Cape Girardeau marijuana tax
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:59 AM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau police chief says his department would benefit from a new city tax on marijuana.

Cape Girardeau voters will decide in April if they support an additional 3-percent tax on recreational pot when it’s sold in city limits.

Chief Wes Blair said, right now, his department does not have funding for mental health or drug prevention programs. That’s how Blair said the money generated by this new tax would be spent.

The city council estimated it would generate more than $150,000 each year.

Chief Blair said while funding for these types of programs is a necessity, the money to pay for them simply is not there.

“We reach out and seek grants, do co-responder response, stuff like that, but those grants are a year-by-year thing,” he said. “There’s no guarantee that you will get that grant from one year to the next so those programs may have to go away as soon as they’re started. With a steady stream of funding, we know that we woud be able to keep those programs operational.”

If the tax passes, the police department would get roughly 25 percent of the proceeds, the rest would go into the city’s general fund.

This is an additional city tax on the sale of legal marijuana to be paid along with regular state and local sales tax.

It will voted on in Cape Girardeau on April 4.

Voters in Sikeston will also decide whether that city should impose an additional 3-percent sales tax on marijuana in April.

The city council unanimously backed the ballot measure in Monday night’s meeting.