About Medical Marijuana Laws in Montana
Montana’s medical cannabis program covers a list of qualifying conditions that make residents eligible for the program. Under the directive of Gov. Steve Bullock, physician consultations may be conducted via telemedicine during COVID-19 for both new patients and renewals and curbside delivery is allowed.
In the November 2020 election, Montana legalized recreational marijuana use in addition to the state’s medical cannabis program. Two complimentary ballot initiatives, I-90 and CI-118, to legalize recreational cannabis use passed on November 3, 2020 in Montana for adults 21 and over. Both ballot initiatives were required in order to pass recreational cannabis use.
CI-118 allows the Montana Constitution to be amended in order to set 21 as the legal age for purchasing recreational cannabis.
The ballot initiative I-190 establishes rules for recreational cannabis use including taxation of 20% and the option for cities and counties to opt-out of allowing dispensaries in the jurisdiction. In addition, I-190 puts the Department of Revenue in charge of establishing and regulating a system to grow and sell cannabis.
Another exciting feature of this initiative is that it allows people convicted of cannabis crimes in the past to seek resentencing or expungement of the offense on their record.
The Big Sky Country State has big plans for the tax revenue that the recreational cannabis market will produce over the next five years, reported the Independent Record.
“Of the tax revenue that would be generated by the measure, 10.5% would go to the state’s general fund, while the remainder would fund conservation programs, substance abuse treatment, veterans’ services, health care costs, and localities where marijuana is sold,” reports the Montana news source.
Qualifying Medical Conditions and Cost
Montana’s medical cannabis program dates back to 2004 when voters initiated the ballot measure, with 62% approving it. Since then, Montana has come up with a long list of qualifying conditions that include:
Additionally, the state deems that a chronic medical condition or its treatment that causes other symptoms or disorders also makes patients eligible for the medical cannabis program. Those additional conditions and symptoms include:
Lastly, painful peripheral neuropathy, central nervous system disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or terminal illness also qualify patients for the program. Along with having a condition, any Montana resident applying for a medical cannabis card must prove their residency with a valid driver’s license or state ID. A Montana medical cannabis card’s cost is $30, and it costs $10 to replace or update provider information.
Medical Cannabis Program Application Process in Montana
The Montana medical cannabis program application is straightforward. All prospective patients must be at least 18-years-old and have at least one of the qualifying medical conditions. Additionally, applicants must show proof of residency with a valid copy of a state driver’s license or identification card, or Montana Tribal card. After proving their residence, a patient must provide the state of Montana with a signed statement from the treating physician for a debilitating condition and the medical provider’s name and address. If the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) denies a patient’s application, Montana gives residents a second chance to apply. All applications for annual renewal must be submitted within 30 days of the medical cannabis card expiration date.
Caregivers in Montana
Like a patient, a caregiver must prove they are a Montana resident, supplying a valid driver’s license or state ID card with their current address. Additionally, a caregiver must not have a felony conviction to legally assist a patient.
Possession and Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in Montana
Montana updated its possession and cultivation laws in 2017, allowing a registered card holder to have 1 ounce of usable marijuana at a time. Additionally, patients who do not list a provider may cultivate up to four flowering plants and have 12 seedlings. If a cardholder does list a medical cannabis provider, they cannot cultivate their own cannabis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You need to be a resident in Montana and provide two forms of proof of residency, one of which must be a valid driver’s license or state identification card.
First, you’ll need to meet with a registered physician in MT. They’ll evaluate you and recommend you for the cannabis program. The cost is $199 and that covers your consultation with a licensed Montana practitioner registered with the state and a physician’s statement recommending medical cannabis if you are approved. For $379, you and a friend or family member can both get your cards. Veriheal has a very high approval rate, so if you are not approved you are refunded in full.
Veriheal provides the Montana doctor for you. The most difficult part of the process has usually been trying to find a practitioner who is registered with the Montana medical cannabis program. Veriheal makes the process easier by allowing you to access Montana physicians who evaluate you via an online video chat consultation.
Montana has a medical marijuana reciprocity program with other states, allowing medical card holders from out-of-state to purchase and consume marijuana while visiting. Also, ss of January 1, 2021, recreational marijuana is legal in Montana. If you’re 21 and older you’re allowed to possess, use, and grow up to 1 ounce of marijuana.
Montana has one of the most diverse medical marijuana programs, allowing all patients access to a variety of medical cannabis options. With a medical cannabis card, a patient can purchase dry flower, tinctures, oils, concentrates, topicals, and edibles.