Updated on May 13, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
On July 1, 2017, SB 333 became effective. SB 333 created more detailed regulations on the Medical Marijuana Program in Montana. These regulations apply more directly to the commercial side of medical marijuana, requiring analytical testing of marijuana products by all dispensaries/distributors and taxation changes.
On November 08, 2016, Initiative no. 182 was approved by 56.2% of voters, thereby effectively repealing the restrictions of SB 143, and reinstating the state’s medical marijuana laws, allowing patients with a debilitating illness and physician’s certified recommendation, to therapeutically use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
April 28, 2011, SB 423 was passed, and transmitted to Montana’s Governor, on May 03, 2011 — effective July 01, 2011, the application process requires a Montana driver’s license or state-issued ID card; and requires a second physician for patients with a chronic pain diagnosis.
November 02, 2004, Montana voters approved Initiative 148 (effective November 02, 2004), essentially removing the state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, by patients possessing the medical recommendation from their physician, stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
BALLOT LANGUAGE FOR INITIATIVE NO. 182 (I-182)
INITIATIVE NO. 182
A LAW PROPOSED BY INITIATIVE PETITION
I-182 renames the Montana Marijuana Act to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and amends the Act. I-182 allows a single treating physician to certify medical marijuana for a patient diagnosed with chronic pain and includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a “debilitating medical condition” for which a physician may certify medical marijuana. Licensing requirements, fees and prohibitions are detailed for medical marijuana dispensaries and testing laboratories. I-182 repeals the limit of three patients for each licensed provider and allows providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. I-182 removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities and requires annual inspections by the State.
THE COMPLETE TEXT OF INITIATIVE NO. 182 (I-182)
WHEREAS, Montana voters approved I-148, the “Medical Marijuana Act,” in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote, creating safe access to medical marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature, with SB 423, repealed the “Medical Marijuana Act” in 2011 and replaced it with the “Montana Marijuana Act”, overriding the will of the voters and creating obstacles for patients’ safe access to medical marijuana; and
WHEREAS, patients with debilitating illnesses rely on providers for safe and reasonable access to medical marijuana; and
WHEREAS, medical marijuana offers relief for veterans and other Montanans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and
WHEREAS, providers should be held accountable through licensing and annual inspections; and Section 1. Section 45-9-203, MCA, is amended to read:
WHEREAS, Montana voters continue to support safe access to medical marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses.
“45-9-203. Surrender of license. (1) If a court suspends or revokes a driver’s license
under 45-9-202(2)(e), the defendant shall, at the time of sentencing, surrender the license to
the court. The court shall forward the license and a copy of the sentencing order to the
department of justice. The defendant may apply to the department for issuance of a
probationary license under 61-2-302.
(2) If a person with a registry identification card or license issued pursuant to 50-46-
307 or 50-46-308 is convicted of an offense under this chapter, the court shall:
(a) at the time of sentencing, require the person to surrender the registry identification
(b) notify the department of public health and human services of the conviction in order for the department to carry out its duties under 50-46-330.”
Section 2. Section 46-18-202, MCA, is amended to read:
“46-18-202. Additional restrictions on sentence. (1) The sentencing judge may also
impose any of the following restrictions or conditions on the sentence provided for in 46-18-
201 that the judge considers necessary to obtain the objectives of rehabilitation and the
protection of the victim and society:
(a) prohibition of the offender’s holding public office;
(b) prohibition of the offender’s owning or carrying a dangerous weapon;
(c) restrictions on the offender’s freedom of association; (d) restrictions on the offender’s freedom of movement;
(e) a requirement that the defendant provide a biological sample for DNA testing for purposes of Title 44, chapter 6, part 1, if an agreement to do so is part of the plea bargain;
(f) a requirement that the offender surrender any registry identification card or license issued under 50-46-303;
(g) any other limitation reasonably related to the objectives of rehabilitation and the protection of the victim and society.
(2) Whenever the sentencing judge imposes a sentence of imprisonment in a state prison for a term exceeding 1 year, the sentencing judge may also impose the restriction that the offender is ineligible for parole and participation in the supervised release program while serving that term. If the restriction is to be imposed, the sentencing judge shall state the reasons for it in writing. If the sentencing judge finds that the restriction is necessary for the protection of society, the judge shall impose the restriction as part of the sentence and the judgment must contain a statement of the reasons for the restriction.
(3) If a sentencing judge requires an offender to surrender a registry identification card or license issued under 50-46-303, the court shall return the card or license to the department of public health and human services and provide the department with information on the offender’s sentence. The department shall revoke the card for the duration of the sentence and shall return the card if the offender successfully completes the terms of the sentence before the expiration date listed on the card.”
Section 3. Section 50-46-301, MCA, is amended to read: “50-46-301. Short title — purpose. (1) This part may be cited as the “Montana Medical Marijuana Act”. (2) The purpose of this part is to: (a)improve the regulatory system to make the Montana marijuana program safe, functional, and transparent for patients, providers, regulators, and Montana communities; (a)(b) provide legal protections to persons individuals with debilitating medical conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder, who engage in the use of marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of the debilitating medical condition; (b)(c) allow for the limited cultivation, manufacture, delivery, and possession of marijuana as permitted by this part by persons who obtain registry identification cards; (c)(d) allow individuals persons to assist a limited number of registered cardholders with the cultivation and manufacture of marijuana or and manufacture of marijuana-infused products; (e) require licensing for the cultivation of marijuana and manufacture of marijuana- infused products; (f) provide for dispensaries, employees, and for the transport of marijuana and marijuana-infused products; (d)(g) establish reporting requirements for production of marijuana and marijuana- infused products and inspection requirements for premises; and (h) provide for the testing of marijuana by licensed testing laboratories; and (e)(i) give local governments a role in establishing standards for the cultivation, manufacture, and use of marijuana that protect the public health, safety, and welfare of residents within their jurisdictions.” Section 4. Section 50-46-302 , MCA, is amended to read:
“50-46-302. Definitions. As used in this part, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Correctional facility or program” means a facility or program that is described in 53- 1-202 and to which a person an individual may be ordered by any court of competent jurisdiction. (2) “Debilitating medical condition” means:
(a) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient’s health status; (b) cachexia or wasting syndrome; (c) severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s treating physician and by: (i) objective proof of the etiology of the pain, including relevant and necessary diagnostic tests that may include but are not limited to the results of an x-ray, computerized tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging; or (ii) confirmation of that diagnosis from a second physician who is independent of the treating physician and who conducts a physical examination; (d) intractable nausea or vomiting;
(e) epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder;
(f) multiple sclerosis;
(g) Crohn’s disease;
(h) painful peripheral neuropathy;
(i) a central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms; (j) admittance into hospice care in accordance with rules adopted by the department; or
(k) post-traumatic stress disorder; or
(k)(l) any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition approved by the legislature. (3) “Department” means the department of public health and human services provided for in 2-15-2201. (4) “Dispensary” means a registered location from which a provider or marijuana-infused products provider is approved by the department to dispense marijuana or marijuana-infused products to a registered cardholder.
READ MORE — Initiative No. 182 [FULL TEXT]
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE MONTANA MARIJUANA ACT AND REVISING LAWS RELATING TO THE USE OF MARIJUANA; CREATING A REGISTRY PROGRAM FOR THE CULTIVATION, MANUFACTURE, TRANSPORTATION, AND TRANSFER OF MARIJUANA BY CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS; REQUIRING REPORTING; ALLOWING INSPECTIONS; REQUIRING LEGISLATIVE MONITORING; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; ESTABLISHING A TRANSITION PROCESS; AMENDING SECTIONS 37-1-316, 37-3-343, 37-3-347, 41-5-216, 45-9-203, 46-18-202, 50-46-201, 50-46-202, AND 61-11-101, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 50-46-101, 50-46-102, 50-46-103, 50-46-201, 50-46-202, 50-46-205, 50-46-206, 50-46-207, AND 50-46-210, MCA; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES.