By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
A tax on recreational marijuana will be on the April ballot after the St. Joseph City Council passed an emergency ordinance.
The emergency ordinance passed unanimously. Initially, the city council wanted to wait and see how regulations played out.
But, Mayor John Josendale says the city council reversed course after seeing nearly 60 other municipalities with the measure on their April ballot.
"In doing that, we sat there and thought well a lot of people are putting it out there, there will be a lot of information about it, so this would probably be the most opportune time to put it out there for the voters to approve the tax to come through," Josendale tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post.
A provision in the ballot measure approved by voters gave cities the option to levy the tax. The ordinance calls for a three percent sales tax on marijuana sales.
Josendale says the money brought in from the sales tax will be added to the general fund which will provide flexibility.
"Because this is not earmarked for one particular area, but we may use it for education, you can use it for streets, you could use it for any number of things," Josendale explains. "But I think at this point in time the fact that it's going into the general fund leaves it a little open as to how you can use it."
Josendale says there is still a lot to learn about how legalizing marijuana will impact the city. The measure will be on the April 4th ballot.
Josendale says this tax is important because of the opportunities that it will present, which is why the ballot measure legalizing marijuana had a provision giving the cities the opportunity to add a tax.
"So that they would have funds in regards to some of the things they may have to do differently," Josendale says. "With regards to regulating it or dealing with it down the road."