Montana becomes 14th state to legalize recreational marijuana

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Montana became the 14th state to legalize recreational marijuana, joining New Jersey and Arizona on Tuesday in approving recreational cannabis during the 2020 election.

The Washington Post called the election with 58% of voters in favor  of Initiative 190 and 60% of precincts reporting.

Initiative 190 creates a recreational marijuana market in a state that already has a medical marijuana program expected to draw $60 million-$75 million in sales this year.

A University of Montana study projected the adult-use initiative would generate sales of $217 million in the first year and $234 million in 2024.

Under I-190:

  • Smokable flower will be permitted.
  • A seed-to-sale tracking system will be implemented.
  • Montana residency will be required for licensees.
  • Marijuana operations will have to be at least 500 feet from churches and schools.

Additionally, local governments looking to ban cannabis businesses would have to get agreement from voters under I-190, a departure from the current MMJ program.