Recreational adult marijuana will be available for purchase in Montana on January 1. The launch of the new market raises a myriad of questions, from the amount of marijuana a person is allowed to own, whether they are allowed to use it in a national park, to the types of products available for purchase .
Read on for answers to these and many more questions in this MTFP guide to the post-state marijuana marketplace.
Who Can Buy Marijuana In Montana?
Starting January 1, 2022, any adult 21 and over will be able to purchase marijuana and marijuana products. This includes residents of Montana, residents of other American states and territories, and international travelers with valid ID.
What do I have to bring to a pharmacy?
Bring ID showing that you are 21 years old.
Virtually all marijuana transactions are made in cash due to ongoing federal restrictions on banking services for the industry. Bring your own to avoid paying ATM fees in-store.
Stores must put their purchases in child-resistant plastic “exit bags”. On subsequent trips, bring this reusable home bag with you to reduce waste and avoid paying for a new one.
Bring a good dose of patience, especially in the opening weeks of the leisure program. Budtenders will answer many questions from beginners and the lines can be long.
Will the state track my purchases?
No. While a company can scan your ID “to determine the age of the consumer” under House Bill 701, the state’s legalization framework, it can only keep these records for 180 days. In addition, pharmacies are not allowed to disclose this information to the state, pass it on to third parties, or sell it.
What types of products can I buy?
Customers can purchase a wide variety of products including marijuana flowers (the smokable green buds), edibles, tinctures, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates, and topical products. These products must be made in the state of Montana.
Marijuana flower cannot contain more than 35% THC, the most common psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant (this is for recreational sales only, not medicinal sales). Flower typically contains between 15% and 25% THC and comes in a variety of flavors with obscure and lively names, from Apple Fritter to Peanut Butter Lady to Missoula Kush Cake.
Edibles come in many forms, including chocolates, gums, infused olive oils, and more. A pack of edibles for the recreational market cannot contain more than 100 mg of THC (again, this does not apply to medical patients).
“Concentrates” are extracted cannabis oils that tend to be extremely strong and are not recommended for beginners.
In addition, customers can purchase smoking accessories such as bongs, pipes, and dab rigs – a special type of glass pipe used to consume concentrates – in pot shops. These products can be made domestically or imported from elsewhere.
Companies can also sell CBD products. CBD (technically known as cannabidiol) is typically extracted from federally legal hemp and is sold in edible, tincture, topical, and other forms. These products can be made in Montana or imported from other states.
Pot shops cannot sell hemp plant material.
Is marijuana being tested in Montana?
Yes. All products must be tested for a wide variety of bacteria, molds, and heavy metals, as well as effectiveness and the various compounds they contain. The state is home to several testing laboratories; Fidelity Diagnostics and Stillwater Laboratories are the two largest facilities.
Is it expected that stores will run out of products quickly?
Industry players and business owners are preparing for a large influx of new customers who may quickly liquidate their holdings.
“It may be that after the first few days, not many products are available for several weeks,” said Pepper Petersen, president of the Montana Cannabis Guild. “Everyone has prepared for it, but national trends [in states that have previously legalized] indicate three to five times more demand than medical marijuana. ”There could be 200,000 new customers in the state, he added.
How much can I buy at a time?
Customers can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana per transaction, or the THC equivalent in other forms: 800 milligrams of edible or 8 grams of concentrate.
Customers are not limited to a single product type and can mix and match to the limit between different shapes.
Will my purchase be taxed?
Yes. All recreational marijuana purchases are subject to a flat 20% sales tax. As of this writing, Missoula, Park and Yellowstone Counties have an additional 3% local tax in place.
How long can pharmacies stay open?
House Bill 701 allows recreational and medical marijuana businesses not to open before 9:00 a.m. or stay open after 8:00 p.m.
Can one store sell another company’s products?
Yes. Although Montana’s medical marijuana industry was previously vertically integrated, meaning that each medical pharmacy had to grow its own cannabis plants and produce all other additional products themselves, this restriction was removed from both the medical and recreational markets in the Adult Legalization Act. As a result, a store can now wholesale and sell marijuana flowers, gums, vape cartridges, and tinctures from another grower.
Can I buy marijuana anywhere in Montana?
No. According to HB 701, only counties where the majority of residents voted for cannabis legalization in the 2020 elections have approved the sale of recreational activities and are known as “green counties”. Circles that have not voted for legalization, however, have the right to vote the question again and switch from a “red county” to a “green county”.
In general, western Montana counties were more willing to allow marijuana sales.
The full current list of “green” and “red” counties can be found at mtrevenue.gov/cannabis/faqs.
(Dawson County residents were due to vote this month on whether to move from a “red” county to a “green” county.)
How much marijuana can I legally own?
Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or its THC equivalent in edibles, concentrates, and other products is legal in the state of Montana.
Possession of large quantities of marijuana is still illegal in Montana. Possession of between one and two ounces is considered a civil offense and can be fined up to $ 500. Possession of more than two ounces is considered a crime and can be punished with up to five years in prison and / or fines of up to $ 45,000.
Can I drive with marijuana in my vehicle?
Yes, but there is one major limitation: it must be in the original, unopened packaging and stored outside of the car’s “passenger compartment”. In other words, according to HB 701, it must be either (a) in a locked glove box or storage compartment; (b) in a trunk, hold, cargo area or hold; (c) behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk; or (d) in a closed container in the vicinity of a motor vehicle which is not equipped with a trunk and which is normally not occupied by the driver or front passenger.
The law states that a person convicted of illegally possessing a legal amount of marijuana in a motor vehicle “must be fined up to $ 100”.
Is it legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana?
No. As Petersen of the Montana Cannabis Guild explained, law enforcement agencies have the power to stop any unpredictable driving style. If the officer has reason to believe that the driver is under the influence of marijuana – that is, if they smell marijuana in the car or the driver’s eyes are red – they can take the driver to a hospital for a DUI test. Refusal to take a blood test could result in your driver’s license being temporarily withdrawn.
As noted by drug policy organization NORML, a first drug driving violation can result in imprisonment between 24 hours and six months and fines between $ 300 and $ 1,000. Later crimes have more serious consequences.
Can I possess or consume marijuana in Indian reservations?
This question is extremely complicated and depends on how federal marijuana laws can be enforced in the Indian country and how each tribe approaches the issue of marijuana legalization. Marijuana remains a List 1 controlled substance under federal law, even though it’s legal in the eyes of the state.
But, as Senator Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula stated, “Tribes have limited criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians.” When asked whether tribal courts prosecuted marijuana possession or public use, he suggested “probably not” but acknowledged that federal law enforcement continues to be “a wild card.”
Morigeau recommends playing it safe. “Be familiar with the landscape,” he said. “You are not on state land, but on another territory. Think of this framework. ”
Can I own or use marijuana in national parks?
No. Since national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, are states, the federal marijuana ban remains in effect there. Getting caught with marijuana in a national park can lead to criminal charges.
As cannabis news agency Leafly points out, even national park visitors from states with legal marijuana who are charged with possession in a national park can have urine tests even after they return to their legal marijuana state.
Representatives from both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks declined to “speculate on how the park might deal with a potential influx of cannabis users.”
Can I use marijuana in public in Montana?
No. The use of marijuana in public is punishable by fines of up to US $ 50.
Can I leave Montana with marijuana in my possession?
No. It is illegal to cross state lines with marijuana in your possession. The neighboring states of Idaho and Wyoming to Montana have strict laws criminalizing marijuana possession.
It is also illegal to fly marijuana.
Can i grow my own marijuana?
Yes. Montana residents are allowed to grow and own up to two full-grown marijuana plants and two seedlings at home. These plants must not be publicly visible – if not hidden, it could result in a civil fine of up to $ 250 and plant decay. House Bill 701 suggests residents can own more than an ounce of home-grown marijuana at home as long as it is kept in a sealed container and out of sight of the public, but there is no limit.
Montana Free Press