Montana Supreme Court ruling guts state’s MMJ industry

The sky has fallen in Montana.

The state Supreme Court issued a ruling on Thursday in a case that’s been ongoing since 2011 over a law approved by the state legislature that was intended to basically regulate the medical cannabis industry out of existence. Though the court didn’t side completely with lawmakers, it upheld enough of the law to signal a virtual end to dispensaries and cannabis businesses in Montana.

According to the Associated Press, the court ruled that MMJ “providers” can sell cannabis to no more than three patients each, but are allowed to accept payment. It also upheld a ban on MMJ advertising, as well as a requirement that any doctor who recommends cannabis for more than 25 patients be subject to an automatic state review.

In a statement, Marijuana Policy Project called the ruling “a huge blow to Montana’s patients and those who provide to them.”

The ruling marks the most significant rollback in cannabis reform in recent history. Montana legalized MMJ in 2004 at the ballot box, but conservative lawmakers have been trying to crack down on dispensaries and marijuana businesses since they began proliferating in 2009 after the Ogden Memo was released.

There are only an estimated 50-60 dispensaries left in Montana, since many have closed down over the years as the state has made it increasingly difficult to do business in the cannabis trade. The ruling from the Supreme Court will likely mean the end of those storefronts as well, and if the MMJ trade survives, it’ll likely be in the form of small-scale legal caregivers and the underground market.

More of the background, along with a summary of the ruling, can be found here.

3 comments on “Montana Supreme Court ruling guts state’s MMJ industry
  1. Misty Carey on

    Which 3 patients would you choose? How would you decide between the old lady with end-stage cancer and the young man with no hands or feet?
    Shout out to the politicians yet again! This is a moral atrocity.

    Reply
    • Mark Cooper on

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  2. Roger Christie on

    Aloha. So sorry to hear of this backward news. Where’s the blessing in that?

    My wife and I have two important federal appeals now before the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco with a decision due any time that could help “We the people” of Montana and the entire USA. 1.) We have a motion on appeal that argues Schedule 1 classification for marijuana is unconstitutional, and 2.) We have another motion on appeal which argues that Cannabis deserves to be protected as a legitimate religious / spiritual sacrament under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Hopefully one or more of our appeals will win the all of us.

    And this tells the story of prohibition quite well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSw_vILNf6s

    All the best to everyone,

    Roger Christie

    http://www.thc-ministry.org
    http://www.the-last-marijuana-trial.com

    Reply

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