Montana Legal Information
In 2004, 62 percent of Montana voters passed Initiative 148 (I-148), allowing registered patients to use, possess and cultivate medical cannabis and designate a caregiver to assist them. A card holder who has a registered provider may posses up to one (1) ounce of usable cannabis. If an individual does not have a provider listed, they may posses up to four (4) mature plants and four (4) seedlings. If two or more cardholders share a residence and do not have named providers, they may have a maximum of eight (8) mature plants and eight (8) seedlings.
In 2011, the Montana legislature introduced and passed several laws to create laws and regulations that would create a state-wide licensing program but instead the legislature passed SB 423 that repealed much of the rights granted under I-148. SB 423 was challenged in state court blocking many of the worst provisions before it could be implemented. Following a lengthy court battle, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing SB 423 to be implemented in early 2016, which cut off almost all access for patients.
In November 2016, Montana voters passed Initiative 182 (I-182) which not only restored many of the rights granted to patients in I-148, but also added PTSD and removed restrictions on chronic pain for qualifying conditions, and tasks the Department of Public Health and Human Services with creating regulations and licenses for businesses serving patients as well as laboratories to test for potency and contaminates.
Initiative 182 was amended in May of 2017 by SB 0333. SB 0333 implements a seed to sale tracking systems, requires the licensing of dispensaries for chemical manufacturing, establishes requirements for testing laboratories, establishes a tax on providers and a fee on dispensaries. Importantly, SB 0333 eliminates the requirement that a parent must be a minor's caregiver and changes the allowable amounts cardholders are allowed to posses from the previous limits.
In This Section
Montana Supreme Court opinion issued on February 25, 2016 in Montana Cannabis Industry Association et al v. State of Montana, which upheld all but one provision of the 2011 Montana Marijuana Act (SB 423), which was subsequently amended in November 2016 as a result of the passing of Initiative I-182.
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.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.
Montana issues ID cards allowing qualified patients to use marijuana legally. Patients may designate caregivers to assist them with taking and growing their medicine.
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be a physician duly licensed to practice medicine in Montana under MCA Title 37, Chapter 3. Physicians must assume primary responsibility for providing management and routine, complete a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current condition, review all prescription and non-prescription medications and supplements used by the patient, and attest to ongoing care. Physicians are required to discuss potential harms and side effect of medical cannabis with their patient.