Montana governor signs marijuana licensing moratorium extension into law

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!

Montana’s adult-use marijuana industry will remain closed off to new entrants for at least two more years.

That was among the changes to Montana’s adult-use industry under House Bills 128 and 903, which Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law this week.

According to Helena TV station KTVH:

  • HB 128 extends an existing moratorium on new licenses until July 1, 2025, and gives tribal nations the same privileges as other cannabis businesses. All eight tribal nations in the state are guaranteed cannabis permits.
  • HB 903 mandates that holders of multiple licenses pay higher fees. An initial license now costs $5,000, with each additional permit costing an additional $5,000.

Gianforte’s signature also means that 16 businesses statewide that had been allowed to sell only medical marijuana since receiving licenses in 2020 will be able to start selling adult-use products.

Montana has had a tortuous path toward legal marijuana in which lawmakers have undermined voter-approved ballot initiatives.

Adult-use sales in Montana began Jan. 1, 2022, thanks to a 2020 voter initiative that lawmakers tweaked in 2021.

Montana recorded roughly $203 million in recreational marijuana sales last year.