A Lewis and Clark County district court judge has struck down a new state law that dramatically increased the licensing fees for cannabis dispensaries with multiple locations.

Under House Bill 903, a dispensary would have had to pay $5,000 to renew a license for its first shop and then a cumulatively additional $5,000 for each additional location. Under the new law, it would have cost cannabis retailers $10,000 to renew a license for a second store, $15,000 to renew a license for a third store, and so on. Previously, the Montana Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act required dispensaries to pay a flat $5,000 renewal fee for each location. State law requires that dispensary licenses be renewed annually.

After the bill was signed into law last year, three cannabis businesses, Granite Peak Holdings, Inc., TSB Montana, and MariMint LLC, sued the state, arguing that the new law was unconstitutional and that licensing fees gathered by the Montana Department of Revenue were more than enough to cover the state’s costs of administering its adult-use cannabis program.

According to court documents, under the new fee structure, TSB would be assessed a $600,000 dispensary renewal fee, as opposed to the $75,000 fee it paid in previous years. Other dispensary chains would have paid in excess of $1 million.

Read more at montanafreepress.org