Medical Marijuana in Montana
The State of Montana began its long journey of marijuana legalization when Montana voters passed an initiative in 2004 to adopt its first medical marijuana law. Unfortunately due to the lack of state regulations and unclear protections, businesses had no visible presence to provide Montana patients with access to medical cannabis. By 2011, there was a general consensus that the program had to be changed, however, anti-marijuana lawmakers used this as an attempt to rid the medical marijuana program all together. Fortunately, Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed this effort, but the future of the Montana medical marijuana program was still unaccessible with the enactment of SB 423 in 2011.
Access for patients under SB 423 was nearly impossible as doctors could not recommend medical marijuana for more than 25 patient a year. After a 5-year battle, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of the restrictive law in 2016, which resulted in over 93% of the state’s patients losing their access. In the November 2016 election, 57% of Montana voters passed I-182, which removed the most harmful provisions set forth in SB 423, and established a business structure to finally serve the Montana patients.
Under 1-182, the limitation of maximum patients a provider could serve was removed, as well as no longer requiring the state medical board from investigating doctors. Further, testing, licensing, and employee protections were created under this initiative.
Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, cachexia or wasting syndrome, intractable nausea or vomiting, epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, painful peripheral neuropathy, a central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms, admittance into hospice care, severe chronic pain, and PTSD.
Recreational Marijuana in Montana
In the November 2020 election, 56.9% of voters passed Initiative 190 legalizing adult-use of marijuana in the State of Montana. By 2021, lawmakers passed HB 701, which made modifications to I-190 – allowing localities to opt out of allowing cannabis sales; however, as of 2022, about half of the state’s counties currently allow cannabis sales. With retail sales only beginning in January of 2022, the State of Montana has already seen $20 million dollars in tax revenue.
Upcoming Marijuana Business Applications
Currently, the State of Montana is only accepting applications from licensed medical marijuana businesses from January 1, 2022 until June 30, 2023.
However, the Montana Cannabis Commission Board released that it will begin accepting applications for Cultivation, Manufacturing, & Retail by July 1, 2023!
General Application Requirements:
- Businesses can apply & hold a combination of licenses
- Proposed location(s) must undergo its own approval process
- Can have multiple sites under 1 license
- Montana Residency Required
- Criminal Background Check
- Organizational Chart
- Proof of Funding
Cultivation (Micro – Tier II) Application fee: $1,000 – $5,000
Manufacturer (Tier I –III) Application fee: $5,000 – $20,000
Annual Dispensary fees: $5,000 per location
Transporter License: $10,000 for two-years
In the near future, there will be an open application process for Adult-Use Marijuana Business Licenses in Montana. Now is the time to get started with your comprehensive and strategic business plan! Contact one of our consultants to further discuss your options here.