Montana's Medical Marijuana Laws & Regulations
In November 2004, Montana voters by a significant margin (62 percent) passed Initiative I-148, allowing certain patients with specific medical conditions to alleviate their symptoms through the limited use of marijuana under medical supervision. Montana issues registry ID cards allowing qualified patients who are Montana residents to use cannabis legally. Patients may designate caregivers to assist them with obtaining their medicinal cannabis. Registry ID cards are to be carried by the patient or provider at all times.
SB 423, which went into effect on July 1, 2011, changes the application process to require a Montana driver's license or state issued ID card. A second physician is required when the patient's debilitating condition is chronic pain.
The Montana Marijuana Program has undergone several drastic changes in recent years. Several of the original regulations were repealed in 2011 by SB 423, including the prohibition dispensaries and caregivers. New regulations have been issued in 2011 and 2012, which establishes the rules for “providers,” who may supply a limited number of patients with medicine, and may not be reimbursed for their services.
Most of SB 423's provisions remained on hold since passage due to Constitutional challenges against it. While the Montana Supreme Court has since lifted the injunction, effective September 1, 2016, the program was largely restored through the passage of Initiative 182 by voters in November 2016.
Initiative 182 restored dispensary access to medical cannabis, will require state licensing for the manufacture of infused products, and brings lab testing to the Montana program. It also adds PTSD and lift hash restrictions regarding chronic pain as a qualifying condition. Home cultivation and the current possession limits have been retained. The new law will fully goes into effect on June 30, 2017.