At a Glance
- Repeals the 3 patient limit for medical marijuana caregivers
- Caregivers can hire employees for cultivation, dispensing, and transport of medical marijuana
- Establishes licensing procedures for dispensaries
- Establishes procedures for testing facilities
- Recreational still illegal
- Active hemp industry
- Expands conditions to include PTSD
- Those with chronic pain no longer need multiple recommendations from different doctors
Along with North Dakota, Florida, California, Colorado, Arkansas, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, Montana has made some changes to its marijuana laws. Medical marijuana has been legal in Montana since 2013, but the bill had some problems, most of which have been remedied with I-182, which Montana’s voters passed on November 8, 2016. Changes made by Big Sky Country’s I-182 include increased caregiver patients (the previous limit was three), hemp industry production and cultivation, PTSD as a qualifying condition for cannabis therapy, and finally and end to the requirement that a person with chronic pain has to get multiple recommendations from different doctors. Well, thank goodness for that! What a nightmare that must have been. I don’t enjoy going to one doctor and filling out all those forms, much less multiple doctors. It looks like Montana’s laws are moving forward in a good way for the residents of that state, so let’s take a closer look at the details of Montana’s medical marijuana laws. We want everyone to be as informed as possible, right?
Montana’s Medical Marijuana Laws
Licensed medical marijuana patients in Montana can be in possession of up to once ounce, four mature plants, and up to 12 seedlings. Previously, caregivers were only allowed to cultivate enough cannabis for two patients and themselves. Now, they can hire employees to help them handle, transport, and cultivate medical marijuana, and doctors won’t be penalized for providing medical marijuana certifications for 25 or more patients. Law enforcement entities in Montana can parade unannounced into facilities to inspect them, however, and annual inspections are required by the new state laws.
Montana’s Qualifying Medical Marijuana Conditions
NORML says there are 13,170 registered medical marijuana patients in Montana, a number which is sure to go up once the new laws go into effect. Currently, the conditions that medical cannabis can be prescribed for are: intractable nausea or vomiting, epilepsy or intractable seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, painful peripheral neuropathy, central nervous system disorders resulting in painful muscle spasms, admittance to hospice care, PTSD, cachexia or wasting syndrome, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition approved by the state legislature.
Recreational Marijuana is Still Illegal in Montana
You bet it is. Do not get caught with cannabis and no medical card or license in Montana, or you may receive a misdemeanor, up to six months in jail, or a $500 fine. For 60 ounces or more the penalty may be three years and $1,000. Sale, delivery, or intent to distribute with or without compensation is a felony in Montana, and can carry anywhere from one year to twenty years in prison, along with $50,000 fines all across the board. Cultivation is considered a felony, as well, and could garner up to 10 years in prison and $50,000 for a pound or less of cannabis or up to 30 plants.
This post was originally published on November 17, 2016, it was updated on October 4, 2017.