On July 1, 2015, Montana became the fourth state in the U.S. to legalize the sale, possession, and use of marijuana (the District of Columbia, Guam, and Vermont have already legalized it). However, the rules governing the new law seem to be quite restrictive, with only the medical marijuana industry able to sell and transport the drug and users not being allowed to get their hands on the substance until late next year. Some advocates of legalization, such as the Marijuana Policy Project, believe this is a bad move on the part of the lawmakers, arguing that “making marijuana more available will decrease the abuse of prescription opioids.”
Is this the start of another “Green Rush”? Yes, it’s true – Montana has legalized cannabis for recreational use, making it the fourth state in the nation to do so. (It’s actually the first state in the nation to do so at the state level.) The new law allows adults 21 and older to use and possess up to one ounce of cannabis with no more than a one day supply. They can also cultivate up to four plants for personal use.
While extremely messy and confusing, the Colorado and Washington legal market for recreational cannabis has produced some interesting data. As of now, voters in Montana will decide whether to follow suit. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association has made a strong push for full-scale legalization, and the measure is supported by a number of well-known legalization advocates . The measure, which received enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot, is the most comprehensive of its kind. It would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and consume marijuana. It would also allow for the establishment of up to four hemp farms in the state, as well as the establishment of a research program and an industrial hemp pilot program.. Read more about are there recreational dispensaries in montana and let us know what you think.House Bill 701 was signed by Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, making Big Sky Country the sixteenth state to do so. Like most recreational states that preceded Montana in the movement toward legalization, the state has had a medical marijuana program (MMJ) since 2004.
The signed legislation was an amendment to the original Initiative 190, which was approved by voters in November 2020. Recreational retail is expected to start on January 1, 2021 – three months later than originally proposed in October. Other hurdles, such as an 18-month moratorium on the issuance of new licenses for cannabis businesses, have received mixed reception, while other program requirements, such as lowering the maximum number of plants people can grow from four to two and exemptions in each province, raise questions about the ability of supply to meet market demand.
Cannabis growers and producers must also aim for a THC content of 35% for the flower, and the new restrictions for packaged products include a total THC content of 100 mg per package for dietary supplements and 800 mg for external products. Legislation that allows licensed cannabis providers to move from the existing vertical integration to a new horizontal approach should have a positive impact on the sector. This will finally allow companies to specialize in one aspect of the industry, whether it is breeding, wholesaling, manufacturing or running a pharmacy. Prior to Bill 701, permit holders were required to conduct each of these activities under a single site permit. Specialisation is expected to improve market efficiency, which may ultimately result in cheaper and richer products for domestic users.
Minima came with all the peaks from Montana
Cannabis legislation was controversial in Montana long before Initiative 190. The existing medical market took a major hit in 2016 when the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the conservative state legislature and adopted rules and regulations that effectively destroyed the existing market. Stores that continued operations were not allowed to serve more than three patients, and the new laws included provisions prohibiting stores from making a profit from selling drugs. Voters saved the industry by passing Initiative 182 in early 2017. By this time, the number of registered MMJ patients had dropped from 30,000 in 2011 to 7,500. Since then, this number has steadily increased.
Montana’s medical marijuana program will continue in 2022 alongside the adult-use cannabis program. Adults who used cannabis before they were one year old and want to use MMJ by January 2022, when the recreational trade starts, can either grow their own two plants or get an MMJ permit from a doctor and register as a patient at one of the existing dispensaries. Licensed medicinal users have advantages over the recreational market beyond easy access: the current gross sales tax on MMJ in Montana is 4%, which is significantly lower than the 20-23% gross sales tax expected for recreational sales in 2022 and beyond.
Advantage: MMJ for the foreseeable future
In other states where medicinal and recreational markets coexist within the cannabis industry, such as. B. Colorado, many users have chosen to register or renew their MMJ license because of its many benefits. Medical users are less burdened, but still have access to special health-related locations, times, products and prices. Medical access can also allow legal use by minors if recommended by a physician, and allows adults under supervision or guardianship to authorize a caregiver to purchase or cultivate on their behalf. Some Montana operators and activists warn of a shortage of supply when the retail market opens in early 2022. Existing MMJ cardholders may be in a better position than retailers.
Although the initiatives and legislation that led to Montana’s hard-won legalization of cannabis for adult use were eventually signed into law by Governor Gianforte, Montana’s history with the industry warns of unpredictability. Initiative 190 received the support of 58% of voters, but met with continued opposition from the Republican-dominated legislature, similar to the problems previously faced by the medical market. With the medical industry making a comeback, those who want faster access to compassionate care in Montana would do well to obtain MMJ certification from a qualified physician in calendar year 2021.
“Montana’s vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana was a dramatic shift in the state’s political landscape,” said Jason Crowell, legislative analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures . “It’s a big win for advocates of legalization, and will likely set the stage for a number of states to take similar action.”. Read more about montana dispensaries list and let us know what you think.
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