Groups drop lawsuit challenging Montana adult-use marijuana measure

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A legal challenge to voter-approved adult-use marijuana legalization in Montana has been dropped in the wake of the state Legislature weakening the measure.

SAFE Montana and Wrong for Montana voluntarily abandoned their challenge, according to Missoula radio station KGVO.

As a result of the legislative action, “it is our belief that the issue raised in the lawsuit is moot,” Steve Zabawa, executive director of SAFE Montana, told the radio station.

Key business aspects of the weaker measure passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte include:

  • A 35% THC potency cap for flower.
  • Edibles potency caps.
  • A longer, 18-month head start for existing medical cannabis operators over industry newcomers.

The market launch now is scheduled for Jan. 1, 2022, instead of Oct. 1, 2021.

While not happy, industry officials say the revised measure is “workable.”

The 2021 MJBizFactbook projects Montana adult-use sales at $90 million in the first year and $325 million in year four.

Montana is an example of a trend of anti-marijuana advocates trying to weaken or overturn voter-approved legalization referendums.