Last night, Montana medical marijuana patients rejoiced as their fellow Montanans voted yes to adapt their state’s medical marijuana laws. Separated by only 64,453 votes, Initiative-182 passed with 56.9% of the vote.
As stated in Initiative-182, the goal of this bill is to “improve the regulatory system to make the Montana marijuana program safe, functional, and transparent for patients, providers, regulators, and Montana communities.”
So What Does Medical Marijuana Look Like in Montana Now?
- The caregiver limit of three patients is now repealed. For the last five years, patient caregivers were only allowed to grow enough cannabis for three patients. This limit significantly restricted patient-access to clean cannabis. With this limit repealed, growers will be able to help the medical marijuana community by cultivating or manufacturing medicine for a much larger network of patients.
- Chronic pain and PTSD are now listed as qualifying conditions for patients seeking medical marijuana.
- Montana will now begin to license medical marijuana cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, testing labs, and dispensaries.
- Now, doctors can more freely prescribe medical marijuana to those who suffer from the state’s listed qualifying conditions. For the last five years, doctors who prescribed marijuana to more than 25 patients were reviewed by the Montana Board of Medical Examiners.
- Individuals who obtain registry identification cards are authorized to cultivate, manufacture, possess, and transport marijuana.
- Law enforcement’s power to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities is repealed. Now, inspections are required by the state once a year, but they are scheduled and announced.
- Medical marijuana providers are now permitted to hire employees to cultivate, transport, and dispense product.
- All medical marijuana is now required to be tested at certified labs to ensure accurate dosage and clean medicine.
- The Montana Marijuana Act is now re-named to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act.
Medical marijuana swept the board last night with wins in all four states with medical cannabis reform on the ballot. While this is somewhat of a re-legalization in Montana, it loosens restrictions that caused major difficulties in safe access to medical marijuana.
Read the bill in its entirety here.