On January 1, 2022, recreational marijuana for adults will be available for purchase in Montana. The new market launch raises a wide range of questions, from how much marijuana an individual can own, and whether they can consume it in a national park, to the types of products that will be available for purchase.
Read on for answers to these questions and many more in the MTFP’s Guide to the State’s Marijuana Market Post-Prohibition of Marijuana.
Who can buy marijuana in Montana?
As of January 1, 2022, any adult age 21 or older can purchase marijuana and marijuana products. This includes Montana residents, residents of other US states and territories, and international travelers with valid identification.
What do I need to bring with me to the clinic?
Bring identification that proves you are 21 years old.
Almost all marijuana transactions are in cash due to ongoing federal restrictions on banking services to the industry. Bring your own to avoid paying ATM fees at the store.
Stores are required to place your purchases in a child-proof plastic “exit bag”. On subsequent trips, bring your reusable checkout bag to reduce waste and avoid paying for a new bag.
Especially during the opening weeks of the entertainment program, bring a good dose of patience. Beginners will answer a lot of questions from novice consumers, and the lines can be long.
Will the state track my purchases or put me on a list of marijuana consumers?
No. Whereas the company can scan your identity to “determine the age of the consumer” House Bell 701, the state’s legalization framework bill, can keep these records for only 180 days. Furthermore, dispensaries are not allowed to share that information with the state, nor can they transfer or sell it to a third party
What Kinds of Marijuana Products Can I Buy at a Montana Dispensary?
Customers will be able to purchase a wide range of products including marijuana flower (smokeable green shoots), nutrients, tinctures, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates and topicals. These products must be produced within the state of Montana.
A marijuana flower can contain no more than 35% of THC, the most common psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. The flower typically contains between 15% and 25% THC, and it’s available in various strains with mysterious and lively names, from apple pie to Lady Peanut Butter and Missoula Kush Cake.
Foods are available in many forms, including chocolate, chewing gum, olive oils, and more.
“Concentrates” are oils extracted from cannabis, which tend to be very potent and not recommended for novice consumers.
In addition, customers will be able to purchase smoking accessories such as staples, pipes and rigs – a specific type of glass tube used for consuming concentrates – from pot stores. These products can be manufactured within the country or imported from elsewhere.
Companies will also be able to sell CBD products. CBD (technically known as cannabidiol) is typically derived from federal legal hemp, and is sold in edible, tincture, topical and other forms. These products can be manufactured within Montana or imported from other states.
Pot shops cannot sell cannabis plant materials.
Are stores expected to run out of marijuana quickly?
Industry stakeholders and business owners are preparing for a large influx of new customers who may quickly liquidate their inventory.
“A lot of products may not be available after the first two days, for several weeks,” said Petersen of the Montana Cannabis Guild. “Everyone was getting ready to prepare for this, but national trends [in states that have previously legalized] It indicates a demand level three to five times greater than the level of demand for medical marijuana. He added that there may be 200,000 new customers within the country.
How Much Marijuana Can I Buy At Any Time?
Customers will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana per transaction, or the equivalent of THC in other forms: 800 milligrams of nutrient or 8 grams of concentrate.
Customers are not limited to one type of product, they can mix and match to the maximum between different shapes.
Will my purchases be taxed?
Yes. All recreational marijuana purchases are subject to a flat 20% sales tax. As of this writing, Missoula and Yellowstone Park counties have enacted a 3% local option surcharge.
Could someone sell marijuana products or other businesses’ marijuana products?
Yes. Although the medical marijuana industry in Montana was previously vertically integrated, meaning that any medical dispensary was required to grow their own cannabis plants and produce any other additional products themselves, this restriction was removed from both the medical and recreational markets in the bill to legalize use adults. As a result, a store can now buy wholesale and sell other marijuana flower, chewing gum, vape cartridges, and tinctures.
Can I Buy Marijuana Anywhere in Montana?
Number per HB 701, only counties with a majority of residents voting in favor of cannabis legalization during the 2020 election allowed recreational sales, referred to as “green counties.” Counties that did not vote in favor of the legislation, however, have the right to re-vote the question and move from a “red county” to a “green county.”
In general, counties in western Montana were more likely to allow the sale of marijuana.
You can find the current full list of ‘green’ and ‘red’ counties here.
(On December 23, Dawson County residents will vote to change from a “red” county to a “green” county.)
How Much Marijuana Can I Legally Own?
Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, or its THC equivalent in foodstuffs, concentrates, and other products, is legal in Montana.
Possession of more marijuana It’s still illegal in Montana. Possession of between an ounce and an ounce is considered a civil offense and is subject to fines of up to $500. Possession of more than an ounce is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fines up to $45,000.
Can I drive with marijuana in my car in Montana?
Yes, but a big caveat: They must be in their original unopened packaging and stored outside the vehicle’s “passenger area.” In other words, it must, according to HB 701, be either (a) in a closed glove box or storage compartment; (b) in the luggage compartment, baggage compartment, truck bed or cargo compartment; (c) Behind the last erect seat of a vehicle not fitted with a trunk; or (d) in a closed container in a motorized area that is not fitted with a trunk and is not normally occupied by the driver or passenger.
The law states that a person convicted of the offense of unlawful possession of a legally permissible amount of marijuana in a vehicle “must be fined an amount not exceeding $100.”
Is it legal to drive under the influence of marijuana?
No, as explained by Pepper Petersen, president of the Montana Cannabis Guild, law enforcement officers have the authority to stop a person from driving intermittently. If the officer has reason to believe the driver is under the influence of marijuana — for example, if he can smell marijuana in the car, or the driver’s eyes are red — he can take the driver to a hospital for a DUI test. Refusal of a blood test may result in a temporary suspension of your driver’s licence.
Like Drug Policy Organization indicates NORML, a first offense of driving under the influence can result in imprisonment from 24 hours to six months and fines ranging from $300 to $1,000. Subsequent crimes have more serious consequences.
Can I own or consume marijuana on Indian reservations in Montana?
This question is quite complex, but the short answer is no. Because marijuana is still a federally listed drug, and sovereign states operate under federal law, marijuana is technically illegal on reserve territory, although it is legal in the eyes of the state.
But, as State Senator Shane Morigo, De Missoula, explained, “the tribes have limited criminal power over non-Indians.” When asked if tribal courts would sue marijuana possession or public consumption charges, he said “probably not,” but acknowledged that federal law enforcement remains a “wild card.”
Morigeau recommends playing it safe. “Be aware of the landscape,” he said. You are not on state land, but in a different territory. Consider this framework.”
Can I own or consume marijuana in national parks?
No. Since national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, are federal territory, the federal marijuana ban is still in effect there as well. Holding marijuana in a national park can result in a misdemeanor charge.
Like Cannabis news outlet Leafly indicatesEven 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 home to their legal marijuana state.
Representatives of both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks declined to “speculate how the park would deal with the potential influx of cannabis consumers.”
Can I consume marijuana in public in Montana?
No. Marijuana use in public is punishable by civil fines of up to $50.
Can I leave a Montana with marijuana in my possession?
No, it is illegal to cross state borders with marijuana in your possession. The neighboring states of Montana are the states of Idaho and Wyoming Maintain strict laws Criminalization of marijuana possession.
Can I grow my own marijuana in Montana?
Yes. Montana residents are allowed to grow and have up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings at home. These plants cannot be visible to the public – failure to hide them can result in a civil fine of up to $250 and forfeiture of the plants.