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Finally, after a long year of preparation and planning, recreational marijuana sale is now legal in Montana! Montana residents are filled with joy and are waiting for their turn to purchase cannabis products. But how much can you possess or purchase in the state with the legalization? Read on to know the details.
The state of Montana passed the Montana Initiative 190 or Montana I-190 back in November 2020 bringing certain adult-use marijuana laws into effect. Though the state legalized marijuana in January, 2021, it does not imply that all the counties are allowed to participate in the sales. People in green counties who voted in favor of the initiative will be allowed recreational sales whereas people in red counties who opted out of the sales, will not be given the permission to participate.
Other important factors of the current law includes the following:
As mentioned earlier, the Montana state is seen in two ways – green counties and red counties. This all comes down to the negotiations that were done at the time of the recreational marijuana initiative discussion in the 2021 legislative session. Back then, the lawmakers had introduced House Bill 701 asking for the support of I-190.
Counties that supported the use of recreational cannabis were automatically allowed in the sales, however, counties that did not give a green signal to I-190, will not have to hold an additional public vote in order to get allowed for recreational marijuana.
Well, the main point here is that the counties also have the opportunity to switch from red to green by circulating a petition. And it could be both for the legalization of recreational marijuana and prohibition of the marijuana business.
The legalization of recreational marijuana has become a concerning subject for medical marijuana users. A bunch of questions and doubts are looming over their heads. Some of the medical card holders are assuming that the legalization will result in a shortage of marijuana supply, affecting their cannabis needs. Not only this, but the introduction of 20% sales tax on adult-use marijuana purchase also poses a threat to the existing medical marijuana taxes, says medical cannabis patients.
Another point was raised about the division of cannabis into the concept of medical and recreational. A few of the folks wonder why marijuana is classified into medical and recreational when everybody knows that the majority of users use the plant for medical purposes only, be it just for body relaxation.
Also, with the rising trend of recreational marijuana, some people think that it will influence the importance of medical marijuana programs and the laws regarding possession and pricing might see a drastic change in the future.
Medical cannabis was legalized in Montana in the year 2004 after a ballot initiative ( The Montana Medical Marijuana Act) was approved by 62 % of the popular vote.
To use medical cannabis, it is mandatory for a patient to have a medical marijuana card or an MMJ card. To get the rec letter, one needs to have one of the qualifying medical conditions (stated by the state of Montana) and other necessary medical documents if required. Upon the payment of the registration fee, you can get your MMIC card (Medical Marijuana Identification Card) from the department of health within a few weeks of the successful registration. You can read the whole process here.
The legalization allowed medical marijuana users with a medical marijuana card to:
Below are the qualifying medical conditions for the medical cannabis treatment stated by the state of Montana:
The scope of cannabis is widening with more and more states opting for the legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis. Montana becomes another state to legalize recreational marijuana allowing its red counties to take advantage of the act and fulfil their recreational needs. It is good to know that states are acknowledging the potential of plant cannabis in the treatment of different medical conditions, paving the way for its more detailed and structured research.
Lack of clear evidence on cannabis and its long-term potential is what is resisting the federal government and other states to take it as one of their health programs. That is why it is important that the government provides the scientific community with the funds to conduct more studies on medical cannabis. Until then, the responsible use of marijuana is advised by the experts.