“There is probably not a lot product obtainable after the primary couple of days, for a number of weeks.”
By Max Savage Levenson, Montana Free Press
On January 1, 2022, adult-use leisure marijuana will grow to be obtainable for buy in Montana. The launch of the brand new market raises a variety of questions, from how a lot marijuana a person can possess, to whether or not they can eat it in a nationwide park, to the forms of merchandise that can be obtainable for buy.
Learn on for solutions to these questions, and plenty of extra, on this Montana Free Press information to the state’s post-prohibition marijuana market.
WHO CAN BUY MARIJUANA IN MONTANA?
Beginning January 1, 2022, any grownup age 21 or older should purchase marijuana and marijuana merchandise. That features Montana residents, residents of different American states and territories and worldwide vacationers with legitimate identification.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME TO A DISPENSARY?
Deliver identification proving that you’re 21 years of age.
Nearly all marijuana transactions are in money as a consequence of ongoing federal restrictions on banking providers for the trade. Deliver your individual to keep away from paying ATM charges on the store.
Retailers are required to place your purchases in a plastic, child-proof “exit bag.” On subsequent journeys, deliver that reusable exit bag with you to restrict waste and keep away from paying for a brand new one.
Particularly in the course of the opening weeks of the leisure program, deliver an excellent dose of persistence. Budtenders can be answering plenty of questions from novice customers, and contours could also be lengthy.
WILL THE STATE TRACK MY PURCHASES OR PUT ME ON A LIST OF MARIJUANA CONSUMERS?
No. Whereas a enterprise could make a scan of your identification “to find out the buyer’s age,” per House Bill 701, the state’s legalization framework invoice, it may solely preserve these information for 180 days. Moreover, dispensaries will not be permitted to share that data with the state, nor can they switch or promote it to a 3rd occasion.
WHAT KINDS OF MARIJUANA PRODUCTS CAN I PURCHASE AT A MONTANA DISPENSARY?
Clients will be capable of buy a big selection of merchandise together with marijuana flower (the smokable inexperienced buds), edibles, tinctures, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates and topicals. These merchandise have to be produced inside the state of Montana.
Marijuana flower can’t include greater than 35 p.c THC, the most typical psychoactive compound within the hashish plant (this is applicable solely to leisure gross sales, not medical gross sales). Flower sometimes incorporates between 15 p.c and 25 p.c THC, and is accessible in numerous strains with obscure and vivid names, from Apple Fritter to Peanut Butter Woman and Missoula Kush Cake.
Edibles can be found in lots of kinds, together with sweets, gummies, infused olive oils and extra. A package deal of leisure market edibles can’t include greater than 100mg of THC (once more, this doesn’t apply to medical sufferers).
“Concentrates” are extracted hashish oils, which are typically extraordinarily potent and will not be really helpful for novice customers.
Clients will moreover be capable of buy smoking equipment equivalent to bongs, pipes and dab rigs—a particular sort of glass pipe used to eat concentrates—from pot outlets. These merchandise could be manufactured in-state or imported from elsewhere.
Companies may also be capable of promote CBD merchandise. CBD (technically often known as cannabidiol) is often derived from federally authorized hemp, and is bought in edible, tincture, topical and different kinds. These merchandise could be manufactured inside Montana or imported from different states.
Pot outlets can’t promote hemp plant materials.
IS MARIJUANA TESTED IN MONTANA?
Sure. All merchandise have to be examined for a variety of micro organism, mould and heavy metals, in addition to for efficiency and the assorted compounds they include. The state is house to a number of testing labs; Fidelity Diagnostics and Stillwater Laboratories are the 2 largest services.
ARE SHOPS EXPECTED TO RUN OUT OF MARIJUANA QUICKLY?
Business stakeholders and enterprise homeowners are bracing for a big inflow of latest prospects that will liquidate their stock rapidly.
“There is probably not a lot product obtainable after the primary couple of days, for a number of weeks,” mentioned Pepper Petersen, president of the trade affiliation Montana Hashish Guild. “Everybody’s been prepping to prepare for this, however nationwide tendencies [in states that have previously legalized] point out a degree of demand three to 5 occasions bigger than for medical marijuana.” There might be 200,000 new in-state prospects, he added.
HOW MUCH MARIJUANA CAN I PURCHASE AT A TIME?
Clients will be capable of buy as much as one ounce of marijuana per transaction, or the THC equal in different kinds: 800 milligrams of edibles or eight grams of focus.
Clients will not be restricted to a single sort of product, and may combine and match as much as the restrict between completely different kinds.
WILL MY PURCHASE BE TAXED?
Sure. All leisure marijuana purchases can be topic to a flat 20 p.c gross sales tax. As of this writing, Missoula, Park and Yellowstone counties have enacted an extra local-option 3 p.c tax.
HOW LATE CAN DISPENSARIES STAY OPEN?
Per House Bill 701, leisure and medical marijuana companies can’t open earlier than 9 AM or keep open previous 8 PM.
CAN ONE SHOP SELL ANOTHER BUSINESS’S MARIJUANA OR MARIJUANA PRODUCTS?
Sure. Though Montana’s medical marijuana trade was beforehand vertically built-in, which means that any medical dispensary was required to develop its personal hashish crops and produce some other extra merchandise themselves, that restriction has been faraway from each the medical and leisure markets within the adult-use legalization invoice. In consequence, a store can now buy wholesale and promote one other grower’s marijuana flower, gummies, vape cartridges and tinctures.
CAN I BUY MARIJUANA ANYWHERE IN MONTANA?
No. Per HB 701, solely counties the place a majority of residents voted in favor of cannabis legalization in the course of the 2020 election have licensed leisure gross sales, and are known as “inexperienced counties.” Counties that didn’t vote in favor of legalization, nevertheless, have the correct to take a re-vote on the query and change from a “purple county” to a “inexperienced county.”
Usually talking, counties in western Montana have been extra amenable to allowing marijuana gross sales.
You could find the complete present checklist of “inexperienced” and “purple” counties here.
HOW MUCH MARIJUANA CAN I LEGALLY POSSESS?
Possession of as much as one ounce of marijuana, or its THC equal in edibles, concentrates and different merchandise, is authorized within the state of Montana.
Possession of bigger portions of marijuana remains illegal in Montana. Possession of between one and two ounces is taken into account a civil infraction and topic to fines of as much as $500. Possession of greater than two ounces is taken into account a felony punishable by as much as 5 years in jail and/or fines as much as $45,000.
CAN I DRIVE WITH MARIJUANA IN MY VEHICLE IN MONTANA?
Sure, however there’s an enormous caveat: It have to be in its unopened, authentic packaging and saved exterior of the automobile’s “passenger space.” In different phrases, it’s required to be, per HB 701, both (a) in a locked glove compartment or storage compartment; (b) in a trunk, baggage compartment, truck mattress or cargo compartment; (c) behind the final upright seat of a motorized vehicle that’s not geared up with a trunk or (d) in a closed container within the space of a motorized vehicle that’s not geared up with a trunk and that’s not usually occupied by the motive force or a passenger.
The regulation notes that an individual convicted of the offense of illegal possession of a legally permitted amount of marijuana in a motorized vehicle “shall be fined an quantity to not exceed $100.”
IS IT LEGAL TO DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA?
No. Because the Montana Hashish Guild’s Petersen defined, regulation enforcement officers have the jurisdiction to cease anybody driving erratically. If the officer has cause to imagine the motive force is underneath the affect of marijuana—i.e., if they will scent marijuana within the automobile, or the motive force’s eyes are purple—they will transport the motive force to a hospital to manage a DUI check. Refusing a blood check may end up in a short lived suspension of a driver’s license.
Because the drug policy organization NORML points out, a primary offense for drugged driving may end up in imprisonment for between 24 hours and 6 months and fines between $300 and $1,000. Subsequent offenses carry extra critical penalties.
CAN I POSSESS OR CONSUME MARIJUANA ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS IN MONTANA?
This query is extraordinarily sophisticated and contingent on how federal marijuana legal guidelines could also be enforced in Indian Nation, in addition to how every tribe approaches the query of marijuana legalization. Marijuana stays a Schedule I managed substance underneath federal regulation, regardless that it’s authorized within the eyes of the state.
However, as state Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, defined, “tribes have restricted prison jurisdiction over non-Indians.” Requested if tribal courts would prosecute marijuana possession or public consumption costs, he prompt “in all probability not,” however acknowledged that federal regulation enforcement stays “a wild card.”
Morigeau recommends enjoying it secure. “Be conversant in the panorama,” he mentioned. “You’re not on state land, however in a distinct territory. Be aware of that framework.”
CAN I POSSESS OR CONSUME MARIJUANA IN NATIONAL PARKS?
No. Since nationwide parks, together with Glacier and Yellowstone, are federal land, the federal prohibition of marijuana stays in impact there as nicely. Getting caught with marijuana in a nationwide park can result in a misdemeanor cost.
Because the cannabis news outlet Leafly points out, even guests to nationwide parks from states with authorized marijuana who get charged with possession in a nationwide park could be topic to urine exams even after they return house to their legal-marijuana state.
Representatives of each Glacier and Yellowstone nationwide parks declined to “speculate how the park would possibly cope with a possible inflow of hashish customers.”
CAN I CONSUME MARIJUANA IN PUBLIC IN MONTANA?
No. Consuming marijuana in public is punishable by civil fines of as much as $50.
CAN I LEAVE MONTANA WITH MARIJUANA IN MY POSSESSION?
Additionally it is unlawful to fly with marijuana.
CAN I GROW MY OWN MARIJUANA IN MONTANA?
Sure. Montana residents are permitted to develop and possess as much as two mature marijuana crops and two seedlings at house. These crops can’t be publicly seen—failing to hide them from view may end up in a civil positive of as much as $250 and forfeiture of the crops. Home Invoice 701 means that residents can possess a couple of ounce of homegrown marijuana at house, so long as it’s saved in a locked container and never seen to the general public, however doesn’t specify a restrict.
Photograph courtesy of Philip Steffan.