January 6, 2021

Montana Adult-Use Legalization Takes Effect

January 6, 2021
Soon adult residents of Montana will be able to use marijuana recreationally.

As of January 1st, 2021 the state of Montana has legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults who are over the age of 21.

Montana and the Latest Marijuana Movement—What Does it Mean?

In November of 2020, Montana voters chose to legalize the recreational use of cannabis by passing two ballot initiatives. I-90 and CI-118 were the ballot initiatives voters had to pass, and it had to be both, or recreational marijuana would not have been permitted in the state. Despite the complicated nature of these legalization requirements, voters were able to navigate the ballot’s complexities and pass the cannabis legalization measures.

I-90 set up the grounds for marijuana use by creating a 20% tax on it that would go towards the state’s economy while the other percent would go towards what would be referred to as “marijuana activism”. This bill also allows single municipalities to prohibit the establishment of a cannabis retail dispensary through a public vote. It was estimated that the marijuana program will create around $48 million dollars for the state by the year 2025. I-90 also allows for those who are convicted of certain drug possession crimes to apply for expungement or resentencing. CI-118 establishes the minimum age of buying mairjuana in Montana as 21. 

Montana Dispensaries—When Will They Open?

According to the Department of Revenue in Montana, dispensaries will not be able to apply for a marijuana business license until October. Further extending the timeline, cannabis sales cannot take place commercially until January of 2022. Montana is going to have to wait a bit to see an active marijauna marketplace, but the upside is the state has time to establish thorough rules and regulations to ensure program participants can understand and maintain compliance protocols.

It should be noted Montana does currently allow residents to participate in the home cultivation of marijuana. This does not currently include commercial cultivation operations, but you can grow up to four mature maijruana plants and four seedlings. Now, there are other restrictions that come along with this, such as a person can only cultivate

  • If a private residence where marijuana is grown for personal use is not shared, rented or leased by an adult-use provider.
  • If the one who owns the residence where the plants are being cultivated or obtains written permission from the owner
  • If, the amounts of marijuana produced over 1 ounce must be kept in a locked space and not visible from a public place.
  • If it is at a private residence.” Only if all of these requirements are met can a person cultivate. 

Public Use of Marijuana in Montana

While recreational marijuana is now legal, it doesn’t mean you can just light up in any old park or shopping plaza. Smoking or consuming marijuana products in public spaces is against state law unless local jurisdictions designate specific places to do so. Similarly, operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana is against the law, and this includes consumption by passengers in vehicles, as well as boats and aircrafts. In the workplace, the business has the right to enforce company drug policies. 

Montana also observes restrictions on the public display of cannabis imagery as it relates to marketing. Advertising by licensed business is prohibited in any form, including social media. Businesses are allowed to have websites but may not actively solicit consumers or out-of-state consumers through the website.

Local governments have the authority to adopt ordinances or regulations on commercial businesses, although they cannot be unduly burdensome. 

Additional Resources:

At The Weed Blog, we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis or other edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis:

Man Serving 90-Year Weed Crime Sentence Released From Prison

Marijuana Delivery On Its Way To Aurora, Colorado

Maine Medical Marijuana Sales Hit $222 Million, Becomes State’s Most Valuable Crop

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