Montana dispensaries may not reopen until June

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Medical cannabis dispensaries in Montana that were forced to close at the end of August may not be able to begin serving patients again until June 30 next year because of a clerical error in the initiative voters approved on Election Day.

According to the Missoulian, the only way dispensaries could open sooner is if the state legislature takes action to move up the regulatory calendar.

But Montana Republicans, who control both chambers of the legislature, have given no indication if they intend to introduce any cannabis-related legislation in the coming session, which begins in January, the Missoulian reported. Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock could not be reached for comment by the newspaper.

It’s also unclear whether Montana Republicans may again try to regulate the state’s MMJ industry out of business, as they did in 2011. That ultimately resulted in this year’s medical cannabis initiative, which is intended to restore the industry and voters approved with nearly 58% support. Such a move by lawmakers could result in even more uncertainty for Montana MMJ businesses and possibly even more delays in the reopening of dispensaries.