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Montana Marijuana Laws

While Montana voters strongly supported a measure to legalize medical marijuana, the state has some of the harshest recreational marijuana laws in the United States.

Recreational Marijuana in Montana

Possession of any amount of marijuana without a medical license is a serious crime in Montana. Any amount less than 60 grams is a misdemeanor, and even a first offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $500. Subsequent offenses can be punished by as much as 3 years in prison, as well as $1,500 in fines. Possession of any amount above 60 grams is a felony.

Additionally, possession with intent to distribute, or sale/delivery of marijuana are penalized extremely harshly. Possession of any amount of marijuana, no matter how small, with the intent to distribute, constitutes a felony that can be punished by as much as 20 years in prison. Sale or delivery of marijuana is also a felony, carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year.

Medical Marijuana in Montana

Medical marijuana patients won a major victory in 2004, when voters passed Initiative 148 with 62% of the vote. Senate Bill 423 passed in 2011 to expand the state’s list of approved conditions. Since, the Montana government has enacted policies that create severely limited medical marijuana access, but just recently voters passed an initiative that expands the program and removes the restrictions that had been preventing patients from accessing the medicinal cannabis they need.

Like in other medical marijuana states, patients in Montana must have a written statement from a doctor and be approved by the state’s medical marijuana program.

Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana include:

In November 2016, 58 percent of voters approved Initiative-182 to repeal what had been a three-patient limit for medical providers. Previously, marijuana providers (caregivers) were limited to assisting 3 patients and were not allowed to accept anything of value, including money, for the services or products they provided to medical marijuana patients. These limitations, set forth by the passing of SB 423, were repealed with the approval of Initiative-182.

Initiative-182 also amended the list of approved conditions to include:

As of November 2016, there were 7,785 patients currently enrolled in the medical marijuana program, with 6,765 that have no provider. There were also 522 providers in the state, and 172 physicians who had patients enrolled in the program.

CBD from Hemp Oil in Montana

Consumption of CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products. Montana has passed no further legislation specifically related to cannabidiol from hemp oil, so CBD hemp oil is legal to purchase and use.

Cultivation of Cannabis in Montana

Montana became one of the first states to legalize hemp for industrial purposes. In 2001, Montana passed Senate Bill 261, which categorized industrial hemp as an agricultural crop, so long as it contained less than 0.3 percent THC. The law also created licensing procedures for farmers to be allowed to grow hemp commercially. The law was largely symbolic at the time, as it also contained a request to the federal government to allow the law to be enacted without federal interference. Few hemp growers have been licensed in part due to federal regulations, but this may change, as federal policies become more industrial-hemp friendly.

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  • September 9, 2015
  • Eve Ripley
  • Joe

    You know what? I have a medial MJ letter from a doctor and since have moved to the State of Washington. I was thinking of moving to Montana and buying some land to build a homestead on. But with their laws on MMJ and recreational MJ I am thinking otherwise. To me it’s all bull you-know-what. The only reason it became illegal was because of DuPont and Hearst back room deals. It wasn’t even legally illegal. It was used in medicines and etc before those two knocked it out of society and they did it to stop the Hemp Textile Industry which it worked and DuPont got his Nylon rope to replace Hemp also. Hearst was worried about his lumber stocks so it kept Hemp from being the new paper for the whole USA. I tell you what without it I’m in a lot more pain. Their law requires you to have their License or State ID card. What happened to they had to honor the laws of other states. Like I said I have a MMJ letter from a doctor from California. I have MS and a real bad back. So pain and inflammation and sleep are all I use it for. I hate getting wasted but I have not felt any results from any type of edible version of MMJ. I have a letter for 99 Plants and 11 lbs of MJ edibles. I still plan to juice a plant a day to cure myself like the UCSF study showed it can do just that. But you need land to live on and grow it which was why I left California. You can’t afford good land there. I wanted to move to Montana but now seeing how they treat people that want recreational MJ, hell no. That is sick. This stuff does not make you flip out. Your only stupid for a couple hours on it but in a mellow way. I only use it right before bed and by myself because I can’t hole a decent conversation on this stuff. But when I wake the next day I don’t have the pain I use to wake to without it. That is what counts to me. It took sometimes hours just to get out of bed. Now I can get right up without trying to get through a ton of pain. By the Way I am a Texan, not a Californian. I thought Montana would be more liberal since they Hate the feds getting into their business but they have a stick up their butts just like all of Washington DC politicians. God Put that plant on this earth for a reason and no government should have a say on it’s use. In the Textile industry it would get rid of using fossil fuels for plastics. Ford had a car made of Hemp plastics and it was almost indestructible. They hit the door with a sludge hammer and it didn’t do any damage at all. That is what we need now. But this government is for the rich, not the people themselves. It is anti-constitutional. Instead of our rights to liberty and freedom they make up shit to put us in jail. It needs a overhaul or everyone will end up like the American Indians having our rights taken away and in their contracted jails. We will be nothing but sardines in a can the way this government is heading. Marijuana and Hemp need to be left alone and allowed again so we can get off of fossil fuel chemicals which is what almost all plastics come from. Hemp fabric out last any other man made or non-man made fabric and the fiber can be up to 15′ long verses wood fiber about 1 – 3″ long tops. They are even making mountain bikes out of bamboo and hemp rope with epoxy for the joints. This is a perfect example of rich A-holes forcing the US citizens to remove a whole industry to allow them to sell us there inferior products and string us along. Time for a big change. Every State should allow the hemp industry to thrive once again. I don’t care what the feds think and you shouldn’t either because they allowed the MJ Tax without proper channels to pass and they also allowed them to perjure themselves in that back room action saying MJ has no utility use. Liars. Apparently the FBI works for industries not the people also. They never corrected this criminal act.