Montana’s Marijuana Industry Still in Danger

Montana’s medical cannabis law remains under attack from conservative officials, even though a district court judge gave MMJ businesses and patients some relief in January.

Attorneys for the state are asking the Montana Supreme Court to overturn the ruling from earlier this year, which threw out several key provisions of a 2014 law that would have essentially killed off the MMJ industry.

The court will reportedly hear assess the arguments of both sides before determining how to move forward, according to the Daily Journal.

The key portions of the law that the district court judge tossed include a ban on selling MMJ for profit, a prohibition of medical cannabis advertising and a limitation of three patients per provider. That ruling paved the way for the state’s medical cannabis industry to continue operating, but the state is now hoping to squash it.

The fight has been going on since 2011, when the restrictions were first passed into law. The issue has been tangled up in the courts since then.

The uncertainty has had a major effect on the MMJ market in Montana. Since 2011, the number of registered patients has shrunk from around 30,000 to about 12,000 as of last month.

In recent times, however, the industry has rebounded in some areas of the state.

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8 comments on “Montana’s Marijuana Industry Still in Danger
  1. Bonnie on

    Looks like Montana needs to take some lessons from Arizona OR COLORADO. WHY can’t they ‘get it together’??? Why are they trying to re-invent the wheel?

  2. Chris Lindsey on

    The issue on compensation for caregivers is not about profit, although the press in Montana has never really gotten that right. The statute says that a caregiver cannot receive “anything of value” for a patient. That means they cannot recoup even their own costs.

    The problem in Montana is that the legislature designed this law to take out industry completely. No testing, no cultivation, no dispensing. They want an entirely grow-your-own system, despite the fact that 82% of the patients rely on someone to grow it for them. The AG is following through with his promise to get the legislature what it actually passed. So round and round we go.

  3. Matthew on

    I would like to hear the reasons why conservatives are trying to fight this. I’d also like to see them say those reasons to the face of someone who actually needs mmj.

  4. Chris Lindsey on

    That’s easy:
    “Marijuana is poison. It’s kind of like taking arsenic with Valium with it. You’re going to feel good until it kills you. It’s a scourge. I would prefer that it be repealed.”

    ~ David Howard, Chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, which oversaw the state medical marijuana program when the current unworkable law was passed, April 6, 2011.

  5. Bonnie on

    Chris Lindsey,
    Since you don’t believe in it, WHY are you reading the Marijuana Business daily?????
    Seems like you are a person ‘looking for a fight”.
    PLEASE spare us your BS and anger. It doesn’t work here.

  6. Chris Lindsey on

    Of course I believe in it. In addition to being a medical marijuana patient, pot lawyer, and mj felon, I work for the Marijuana Policy Project. The previous commenter wanted to know why conservatives are trying to fight this. I provided a quote from one of the more extreme conservatives in the Montana legislature that passed the unworkable law to show how off-kilter their thinking was at the time. Howard is still in the MT legislature, btw, and there is no indication their attitudes have changed.

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