Montana Medical Marijuana Law

Montana issues medical marijuana cards to qualifying residents, allowing them to possess and use cannabis to manage the symptoms of serious health conditions. Those medical conditions can include glaucoma, intractable seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, muscle spasms, cachexia, and more. Marijuana can enhance one’s quality of life and improve functioning for those coping with such debilitating ailments.

Under Montana state law, medical marijuana cardholders can purchase safe and effective products cultivated under strict quality standards. Dispensary purchases are clearly labeled with THC content, strain information, and recommended dosages to help you make the best decisions for your health.

As of 2022, the state also permits recreational (or adult-use) marijuana sales under the Montana Medical Marijuana Program. While all Montanans can now legally possess cannabis, cardholders have broader rights that entitle them to a wider selection of marijuana and more dispensary access.

This article covers the history of Montana cannabis legislation, relevant laws, and common questions facing both active and prospective medical marijuana patients. Understanding the legal status of medical marijuana and the rights of cardholders will help you maximize your use of medical marijuana.

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Montana Medical Marijuana Law History

Montanans first approved the use of medical marijuana via a legalization ballot initiative in 2004, passing the Montana Medical Marijuana Allowance with 62% of the vote. The legislation allowed qualified patients to purchase, consume, and grow marijuana to manage symptoms.

The Montana legislature repealed most of the medical marijuana legislation in 2011. This controversial decision ignored the will of a majority of voters. Patient advocates vigorously opposed the bill, taking the matter to the Montana State Supreme Court in 2016.

Judges knocked down the repeal. That same year, Montanans went to the polls again, voting to expand the medical marijuana program. They added post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to the list of approved conditions.

The governor later established regulations for marijuana cultivators and manufacturers, tightening oversight and quality standards to strengthen patient protection. The state eventually imposed a 4% tax on medical marijuana and abolished the mandate that patients designate a single dispensary for their purchases.

As of January 1, 2022, all Montana residents can legally purchase marijuana products from dispensaries. As the adult-use program grows, lawmakers will likely update the medical program to preserve and strengthen patient access.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Montana

All Montana residents over 21 years old can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana flower, 800 mg of THC in marijuana-infused edibles, or 8 grams or 8 mL of THC in marijuana concentrate. You can have any combination of product types as long as the total does not exceed the 1-ounce equivalent threshold.

Regardless of patient status, possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana is a civil infraction punished with a $200 fine. Possessing more than 2 ounces is a felony punished by up to five years in prison and a $45,000 fine.

Montana Public Consumption Laws

Despite the state’s, marijuana legalization, public marijuana use is illegal in the . state of Montana for both cardholders and recreational users. In addition, consuming cannabis on federal lands and within national parks can expose you to additional penalties due to the ongoing federal prohibition of cannabis.

You can consume marijuana in your home or other private residences with permission. Check lease or rental terms to verify landlords do not have a formal policy banning marijuana consumption. Public consumption is punished with a $50 fine.

Montana Cannabis DUI Laws

You cannot legally drive under the influence of marijuana in Montana. Law enforcement officers are empowered to stop drivers on suspicion of impaired driving. If they believe a driver is under the influence of cannabis (including medical cannabis), they can transport them to a hospital for blood testing. A 5 ng/ml or higher THC level qualifies as a DUI.

First offenses are punished with one day to six months in prison and a fine between $300 and $1,000. Minimum penalties increase with each subsequent offense.

Applying for A Montana Medical Marijuana Card?

All applications to the Montana Medical Marijuana Registry are submitted using the state's online portal. Only individuals diagnosed with an approved qualifying condition are eligible for a medical marijuana card.

First, register for an account and complete the demographic information. You can then visit a qualified Montana healthcare provider to obtain a Physician Statement recommending medical marijuana. Applications must be submitted less than 60 days after your doctor signs the form.

You can then continue the online application by entering the debilitating condition and home cultivation information the physician completed on your statement. Your paper form must match what you submit using the online form.

Next, you will upload digital copies of a passport-style photo, the physician statement, and your Montana license or other proof of residency document. Finally, you can pay the $20 application fee using credit, debit, or an ACH.

The Sanctuary can advise you about the program qualifications and help you navigate the Montana online system. Our experienced staff will connect you with a caring Montana medical marijuana doctor and assist you in compiling the required documents, enabling you to submit a quality application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Montana voters passed recreational marijuana via a 2020 ballot initiative. The state then established program guidelines and sales began on January 1, 2022.

You can legally possess the equivalent of 1 ounce of cannabis flower purchased from a licensed dispensary. Montana marijuana retailers sell flowers, vape cartridges, concentrates, topicals, edibles, transdermal patches, capsules, and suppositories.

Recreational products are subject to THC limits. Flowers cannot exceed 35% THC, topicals can only contain 6% THC, and ingestible products can have up to 800 mg of THC. Medical products are not subject to THC limits. Be sure to ask your dispensary for its medical menu when shopping.

Montanans cannot legally possess over 2 ounces of marijuana. All your marijuana must be for personal use. Only patients with active medical marijuana cards can purchase medical-grade cannabis.

You can only possess 1 ounce of marijuana at a time. Cardholders can purchase 5 ounces of flower per month. Your physician can designate an increased limit, allowing you 8 ounces.

Cardholders can shop at any dispensary, but some facilities only serve patients. Medical purchases are taxed at 4%, while recreational transactions carry a 20% tax.

Registered patients can cultivate four seedlings and four mature marijuana plants, while non-cardholders are limited to two mature plants. The crops cannot be in public view. If you rent or lease, you must obtain the owner's permission to cultivate cannabis. Possession of excess plants is a civil penalty.

No. Only Montana residents can obtain cards and shop at medical marijuana dispensaries. If you are a Montana cardholder visiting another state, check their policies before your trip. You may be eligible to purchase as a cardholder.

Remember, crossing state lines with any marijuana, regardless of patient status, is illegal due to the fact that cannabis is still an illegal substance under federal law.

Yes. Montana does not conduct background checks on patients when they apply for medical marijuana cards. However, a felony will preclude you from serving as a caregiver for a qualified patient.