No Clemency for Montana Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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A Montana judge has denied a last-ditch appeal to postpone the closure of medical marijuana dispensaries until after the November election, meaning the state’s dispensaries will either all shutter after Aug. 31 or risk the wrath of law enforcement.

District Judge James Reynolds ruled that a previous decision by the state Supreme Court – which upheld a 2011 law that Montana MMJ caregivers be limited to three patients apiece – should take effect as scheduled at the end of the month, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The practical effect is that all of the state’s dispensaries will be out of business, since three customers apiece isn’t enough to sustain a dispensary business model.

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association – which tried but failed in appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court – did succeed in getting an initiative on the November ballot to reverse the state Supreme Court’s decision and overturn the 2011 law.

But Reynolds’ ruling means the industry will be out of business for at least a few months, if not longer.