5 Montana Cannabis Laws You Must Know

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Montana has a long history of legal cannabis, starting in 2004 with medical. But then years of back-and-forth made medical marijuana harder to get.

Finally, in 2020, Montana I-190 was approved by voters to legalize recreational cannabis. The state legislature then passed House Bill 701 in April 2021 which altered several aspects of the voter-approved measure. Under HB 701 the recreational law “Montana Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” becomes effective on January 1, 2022.

In this post, you’ll get the rundown on everything you need to know about Montana cannabis laws during the transition, including what is currently legal, and what will change with the addition of adult-use sales.

You can find the full medical regulations here.

Montana Marijuana Laws at a Glance

  • According to Montana state law, medical dispensaries are required to track inventory, transfers, and sales in Metrc — Montana’s official seed-to-sale tracking system.

  • Marijuana delivery is allowed in Montana, per Mont. Admin. R. 42.39.114.

  • Registered medical marijuana cardholders can purchase and possess up to one ounce of marijuana flower, or its equivalents.

  • Medical marijuana purchases are taxed at 4% of retail sales, and recreational purchases will be taxed at 20% of retail sales.

  • Local jurisdictions can add an additional tax of no more than 3%.

Law #1: Dispensary licensing

Adult-Use Law: Section 5. Licensing of dispensaries. (1) Except as provided in 16-12-201(2), an applicant for a dispensary license shall demonstrate that the local government approval provisions in 16-12-301 have been satisfied in the jurisdiction where each proposed dispensary is located if the proposed dispensary would be located in a county in which the majority of voters voted against approval of Initiative Measure No. 190 in the November 3, 2020, general election. (2) When evaluating an initial or renewal application, the department shall evaluate each proposed dispensary for compliance with the provisions of 16-12-207 and 16-12-210. (3) An adult-use dispensary licensee may operate at a shared location with a medical marijuana dispensary if the adult-use dispensary and medical marijuana dispensary are owned by the same person. (4) A medical marijuana dispensary is authorized to sell exclusively to registered cardholders marijuana, marijuana products, and live marijuana plants. (5) An adult-use dispensary is authorized to sell marijuana, marijuana products, and live marijuana plants to consumers or registered cardholders. (6) The department shall charge a dispensary license fee for an initial application and at each renewal. The dispensary license fee is $5,000 for each location that a licensee operates as an adult-use dispensary or a medical marijuana dispensary. (7) The department may adopt rules: (a) for inspection of proposed dispensaries; (b) for investigating owners or applicants for a determination of financial interest; and (c) establishing or limiting the THC content of the marijuana or marijuana products that may be sold at an adult-use dispensary or medical marijuana dispensary. (8) (a) Marijuana and marijuana products sold at a dispensary are regulated and sold on the basis of the concentration of THC in the products and not by weight. (b) Except as provided in subsection (8)(c), for purposes of this chapter, a single package is limited to: (i) for marijuana sold as flower, 1 ounce of usable marijuana. The total potential psychoactive THC of marijuana flower may not exceed 35%. (ii) for a marijuana product sold as a capsule, no more than 100 milligrams of THC per capsule and no more than 800 milligrams of THC per package. (iii) for a marijuana product sold as a tincture, no more than 800 milligrams of THC; (iv) for a marijuana product sold as an edible or a food product, no more than 100 milligrams of THC. A single serving of an edible marijuana product may not exceed 10 milligrams of THC. (v) for a marijuana product sold as a topical product, a concentration of no more than 6% THC and no more than 800 milligrams of THC per package; (vi) for a marijuana product sold as a suppository or transdermal patch, no more than 100 milligrams of THC per suppository or transdermal patch and no more than 800 milligrams of THC per package; and (vii) for any other marijuana product, no more than 800 milligrams of THC. (c) A dispensary may sell marijuana or marijuana products having higher THC potency levels than described in subsection (8) to registered cardholders. (9) A licensee or employee is prohibited from conducting a transaction that would result in a consumer or registered cardholder exceeding the personal possession amounts set forth in 16-12-106 and [section 16].Section 5. Licensing of dispensaries. (1) Except as provided in 16-12-201(2), an applicant for a dispensary license shall demonstrate that the local government approval provisions in 16-12-301 have been satisfied in the jurisdiction where each proposed dispensary is located if the proposed dispensary would be located in a county in which the majority of voters voted against approval of Initiative Measure No. 190 in the November 3, 2020, general election. (2) When evaluating an initial or renewal application, the department shall evaluate each proposed dispensary for compliance with the provisions of 16-12-207 and 16-12-210. (3) An adult-use dispensary licensee may operate at a shared location with a medical marijuana dispensary if the adult-use dispensary and medical marijuana dispensary are owned by the same person. (4) A medical marijuana dispensary is authorized to sell exclusively to registered cardholders marijuana, marijuana products, and live marijuana plants. (5) An adult-use dispensary is authorized to sell marijuana, marijuana products, and live marijuana plants to consumers or registered cardholders. (6) The department shall charge a dispensary license fee for an initial application and at each renewal. The dispensary license fee is $5,000 for each location that a licensee operates as an adult-use dispensary or a medical marijuana dispensary. (7) The department may adopt rules: (a) for inspection of proposed dispensaries; (b) for investigating owners or applicants for a determination of financial interest, and (c) establishing or limiting the THC content of the marijuana or marijuana products that may be sold at an adult-use dispensary or medical marijuana dispensary. (8) (a) Marijuana and marijuana products sold at a dispensary are regulated and sold on the basis of the concentration of THC in the products and not by weight. (b) Except as provided in subsection (8)(c), for purposes of this chapter, a single package is limited to: (i) for marijuana sold as flower, 1 ounce of usable marijuana. The total potential psychoactive THC of marijuana flower may not exceed 35%. (ii) for a marijuana product sold as a capsule, no more than 100 milligrams of THC per capsule and no more than 800 milligrams of THC per package. (iii) for a marijuana product sold as a tincture, no more than 800 milligrams of THC; (iv) for a marijuana product sold as an edible or a food product, no more than 100 milligrams of THC. A single serving of an edible marijuana product may not exceed 10 milligrams of THC. (v) for a marijuana product sold as a topical product, a concentration of no more than 6% THC and no more than 800 milligrams of THC per package; (vi) for a marijuana product sold as a suppository or transdermal patch, no more than 100 milligrams of THC per suppository or transdermal patch and no more than 800 milligrams of THC per package; and (vii) for any other marijuana product, no more than 800 milligrams of THC. (c) A dispensary may sell marijuana or marijuana products having higher THC potency levels than described in subsection (8) to registered cardholders. (9) A licensee or employee is prohibited from conducting a transaction that would result in a consumer or registered cardholder exceeding the personal possession amounts set forth in 16-12-106 and [section 16].

Medical Marijuana Fees: 42.39.108 (1) A cardholder applicant must submit to the department with the initial application and renewal application an application fee of $30. (2) A provider license applicant must submit to the department the following fees with the initial application and renewal application: (a) the annual fees provided for in 50-46-347, MCA; (b) marijuana-infused product provider fee of $500 per registered premises; (c) chemical manufacturing endorsement fee of $100; or (d) custodial parent or legal guardian provider fee of $100. (3) A marijuana employee applicant must submit to the department with the initial application and renewal application the annual permit fee of $10. (4) A testing laboratory applicant must submit to the department with the initial application and renewal application an application fee of $2,000. (5) All fees must be submitted with the application and must be made payable to the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Cash is not accepted at the Medical Marijuana Program office and must be delivered to the Business and Financial Services Division (BFSD). (6) Fees are nonrefundable regardless of final application status.

Explained: The Montana Department of Revenue now controls the licensing of medical marijuana providers and dispensaries in Montana (this used to be handled by the Department of Public Health and Human Services).

The soon-to-come adult-use program is a separate Department of Revenue program.

Here's what you need to know to get licensed in Montana:

  • Any medical dispensary licensed prior to November 2020, who is also in good standing with the state, can apply for a recreational license. Good standing refers to no infractions by state inspectors and also paid to date on state, personal, MJ, and income taxes.

  • Fees for medical marijuana provider licenses are dependent on the number of registered cardholders that have you listed as their official provider. The fees are as follows:
    • One registered premises, $500;

    • Two or three registered premises, $5,000

    • Four or five registered premises, $25,000; and

    • Six or more registered premises, $100,000.

  • Additionally, there’s a $500 fee for a chemical manufacturing (MIPP) license and a $500 fee for applying for a dispensary license.

  • A single person can hold one provider/MIPP license and multiple dispensary licenses.

  • Dispensaries can’t be located within a city, town, or country that prohibits medical marijuana use, or within 500 feet of any place of worship, school, or post-secondary school.

Law #2: Purchase and possession limits

Law: 42.39.118 LEGAL PROTECTIONS -- ALLOWABLE AMOUNTS (1) A registered cardholder who has not elected to obtain marijuana or marijuana-infused products through the system of licensed providers may possess up to 16 ounces of usable marijuana at their registered physical address reported on their registry identification card and 1 usable ounce at any location other than the registered physical address reported on their registry identification card. (2) A registered cardholder may submit a petition for an increase in the monthly purchase limits defined in 50-46-319, MCA, on a form approved by the department and submitted through the licensing system. (a) The department may take prior sales history and other factors deemed relevant into account when evaluating a petition for an increase in sales limits. (b) The department may approve increases to the monthly purchase limits up to a maximum of 8 ounces of usable marijuana or the equivalent in marijuana-infused products as described in (3). (3) Usable marijuana may be in the form of flower, marijuana-infused products, or concentrates. The following conversion shall be used to determine the allowable amounts of non-flower marijuana: (a) 1 ounce of marijuana flower is equal to: (i) 800 mg of THC in marijuana-infused products including edibles; or (ii) 8 grams or 8 mL of THC in marijuana concentrate. (b) A registered cardholder may purchase or possess any combination of marijuana flower, marijuana-infused products, and marijuana concentrate if the total calculated conversion is equal to or less than the legal purchase or possession amount.

Explained: Below are the purchase and possession limits for Montana:

  • Registered Montana medical marijuana cardholders can purchase and possess up to one ounce of marijuana flower, or its equivalents:
    • Eight grams of marijuana concentrate

    • 800 milligrams of THC-infused products or edibles

    • 8 grams or 8ml of THC in marijuana concentrate

  • Cardholders can possess up to 16 ounces of usable marijuana at their registered physical address reported on their registry identification card.
  • After the passing of SB 365, medical patients can purchase 5 ounces per month with a daily purchase limit of one ounce.

  • Recreational cannabis users can cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings in a private, locked area out of public view. Medical marijuana cardholders can cultivate up to four mature plants and four seedlings, also in a private, locked area out of public view.

A registered cardholder may purchase or possess any combination of marijuana flower, marijuana-infused products, and marijuana concentrate if the total calculated conversion is equal to or less than the legal purchase or possession amount.

Law #3: Packaging and labels

Law: 42.39.301 LABELING OF MARIJUANA ITEMS (1) Prior to marijuana items being sold or transferred to a registered cardholder the container holding the usable marijuana items must have a label that has the following information: (a) licensee business or trade name and licensee registration number; (b) date of harvest of marijuana or date the marijuana item was manufactured; (c) name of strain or marijuana item (common or usual name); (d) net weight or volume in U.S. customary and metric units; (e) concentration by weight or volume of THC, THCA, CBD, and CBDA; and (f) unique identification number. (2) Labels must include a consumer warning that states: (a) "For use by Montana Medical Marijuana Program registered cardholders only. Keep out of reach of children."; (b) "It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana."; and (c) "This product is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat, cure, or prevent any disease." (3) If the marijuana item has passed required testing, the licensee must include on the label: "This Product Has Been Tested and Meets the Quality Assurance Requirements of the State of Montana." (4) Licensees with ten or fewer registered cardholders who are not required to submit marijuana items for testing and have not submitted marijuana items for testing must include on the label: "This Product Has Not Been Tested for compliance with Quality Assurance Requirements of the State of Montana." (5) Additional labeling requirements for marijuana topicals, ointments, suppositories, and other marijuana products not intended to be administered orally must include: (a) "DO NOT EAT" in bold capital letters; and (b) a list of ingredients in descending order or predominance by weight or volume used to process the product. (6) Additional labeling requirements for edible marijuana products and tinctures must include: (a) "BE CAUTIOUS" in bold capital letters, followed by "This product can take up to two hours or more to take effect"; (b) if the marijuana item is perishable, a statement that the marijuana item must be refrigerated or kept frozen; (c) list of potential major food allergens; (d) a "contains" statement to summarize the major food allergen information at the end of or immediately adjacent to the ingredient list; or (e) a statement of the appropriate major food allergen in parenthesis within the ingredient list after the common or usual name of the ingredient derived from that major food allergen. (7) Additional labeling requirements for marijuana concentrates and extracts must include: (a) "DO NOT EAT" in bold capital letters; (b) extraction method and solvent. (8) Labels required by these rules must: (a) be placed on the container and on any packaging, that is used to display marijuana items for sale or transfer to a registered cardholder; (b) be in no smaller than eight point Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial font; (c) be in English; and (d) be unobstructed and conspicuous. (9) Marijuana items may have one or more labels affixed to the container or packaging if necessary. (10) Licensees may use a peel-back or accordion label with the required information if the peel-back or accordion label can be easily identified by a registered cardholder as containing important information. (11) A label may not: (a) contain any untruthful or misleading statements; or (b) be attractive to minors. For the purpose of this rule, "attractive to minors" means packaging, labeling and marketing that features: (i) cartoons; (ii) designs, brands, or names that resemble a non-cannabis consumer product of the type that is typically marketed to minors; (iii) symbols or celebrities that are commonly used to market products to minors; (iv) images of minors; or (v) words that refer to products that are commonly associated with minors or marketed by minors. (12) If a marijuana item is placed in a package that is being reused, the old label or labels must be removed and it must have a new label or labels. (13) Exit packaging must contain a label that reads: "Keep out of the reach of children."

42.39.302 PACKAGING FOR SALE TO CONSUMER (1) Containers or packaging for usable marijuana items must protect the product from contamination and must not impart any toxic or deleterious substance to the product. (2) Marijuana items for final sale to a consumer must be: (a) packaged in a container that is child-resistant as defined in ARM 42.39.102; and (b) labeled in accordance with ARM 42.39.301.

Explained: Labels must include the following information:

  • Licensee business or trade name and licensee registration number

  • Date of harvest of marijuana or date the marijuana item was manufactured

  • Name of strain or marijuana item

  • Net weight or volume in U.S. customary and metric units

  • Concentration by weight or volume of THC, THCA, CBD, and CBDA

  • Unique identification number

  • Consumer warnings:
    • "For use by Montana Medical Marijuana Program registered cardholders only. Keep out of reach of children."

    • "It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana."

    • "This product is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

  • Labels may not include:
    • Misleading statements

    • Any elements attractive to minors (meaning labels with cartoons, designs, brands, or names that resemble a non-cannabis consumer product or is typically marketed to minors, or symbols, celebrities, or words commonly associated with minors.)

  • Packaging must protect the product from contamination and cannot impart any toxic or deleterious substance to the product.

Marijuana products for final sale must be packaged in child-resistant containers.

Note: These regulations may change with the passage of adult-use cannabis.

Law #4: Taxes

Explained: Here are the basics of cannabis taxation in Montana:

  • Medical marijuana purchases are taxed at 4% of retail sales.

  • Adult-use cannabis will be taxed at 20% of retail sales.

  • Local jurisdictions can add an additional tax of no more than 3%.

Learn more about Montana cannabis taxes here.

Law #5: Patients and caregivers

Law: 4)"Debilitating medical condition" means: (a)cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient's health status; (b)cachexia or wasting syndrome; (c)severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient's treating physician; (d)intractable nausea or vomiting; (e)epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder; (f)multiple sclerosis; (g)Crohn's disease; (h)painful peripheral neuropathy; (i)a central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms; (j)admittance into hospice care in accordance with rules adopted by the department; or (k)posttraumatic stress disorder.


Explained
: Here's how to get a medical marijuana card (or serve as a caregiver) in Montana:

  • Montana residents who possess a valid medical card can purchase cannabis from their provider or dispensary.

  • Marijuana must be consumed on private property, out of public view.

  • Montana’s qualifying medical cannabis conditions are as follows:
    • Admittance into hospice care in accordance with department rules

    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome

    • Cancer

    • Central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms

    • Crohn's disease

    • Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder

    • Glaucoma

    • Intractable nausea or vomiting

    • Multiple sclerosis

    • Painful peripheral neuropathy

    • Positive status for HIV or AIDS

    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    • Severe chronic pain

  • To get a medical marijuana card in Montana, you must first meet the following requirements:
    • Resident in the state of Montana

    • At least 18 years of age (minors must complete a separate form)

    • Diagnosed with one of the aforementioned qualifying medical conditions

  • If you meet those requirements, follow these steps to get a med card:
    • First, make an appointment with a physician to get a signed recommendation.

    • Decide whether you want to receive your marijuana from a provider or grow it yourself (you have to indicate this on the form).

    • Next, complete the Montana Medical Marijuana Program Application form and send it in, including a copy of your state-issued ID or diver’s license. The patient registry fee is $30.

Montana cannabis laws FAQs

Is recreational cannabis legal in Montana?

As of January 1, 2022, recreational marijuana sales will be legal in Montana. Recreational marijuana can currently be consumed in Montana, but adult-use marijuana users have to grow their own plants at home.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Montana since 2004.

How is marijuana taxed in Montana?

Medical marijuana is subject to a 4% tax, while recreational marijuana is subject to a 20% tax. Local jurisdictions can add an additional 3% tax.

How much weed can I buy in Montana?

You can buy one ounce of marijuana flower, or the equivalent amount of other cannabis products.

Can dispensaries advertise in Montana?

According to HB0701, Section 58, dispensaries cannot:

(1)Advertise marijuana or marijuana-related marijuana products in any medium, including electronic media.

(2) Post a listing in a directory of businesses authorized under this chapter is not advertising for the purposes of this section.

(3) A licensee may have a website but may not; include prices on the website, or actively solicit consumers or out-of-state consumers through the website.

Is Flowhub compliant with Montana’s medical marijuana regulations?

Yes! Flowhub was the first integrator with Metrc, so we have a deep understanding of how to keep your dispensary compliant. We also are compliant with Montana’s medical marijuana regulations.

Disclaimer: The material contained on this website and any attached or referenced pages has been compiled by Flowhub for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. This post is current as of 9/03/2021. Cannabis regulations are rapidly changing, and legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.

Taylor

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