IN MONTANA, WHO CAN BUY MARIJUANA?
Any adult over the age of 21 will be able to purchase marijuana and marijuana products on an online dispensary starting January 1, 2022. Inhabitants of Montana, residents of other states and territories in the United States, and overseas travelers with acceptable identification are all eligible.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO THE DISPENSARY WITH ME?
Bring identification that proves you are over the age of 21.
Due to current federal prohibitions on financial services for the marijuana sector, almost all transactions are conducted in cash. To avoid paying ATM fees at the shop, bring your own.
Shops are required to place your purchases in a plastic “exit bag” that is child-proof. Bring the reusable exit bag with you on subsequent excursions to reduce trash and avoid paying for a new one.
Bring plenty of patience, especially during the first few weeks of the recreational program. Budtenders will be fielding a slew of inquiries from newcomers, so expect long lines.
WILL THE STATE KEEP TRACK OF MY BUYS OR INCLUDE ME ON A LIST OF MARIJUANA CONSUMERS?
No, according to House Bill 701, the state’s legalization framework bill, a firm can scan your identity “to determine the consumer’s age,” but it can only maintain those records for 180 days. Furthermore, dispensaries are prohibited from sharing that information with the state, as well as from transferring or selling it to a third party.
WHAT KINDS OF MARIJUANA PRODUCTS CAN I GET AT A DISPENSARY IN MONTANA?
Customers will be able to buy marijuana flower (the smokable green buds), edibles, tinctures, vaporizer cartridges, concentrates, and topicals, among other things. These items must be manufactured in Montana.
THC, the most frequent psychoactive component in the cannabis plant, cannot be found in more than 35% of marijuana flowers (this applies exclusively to recreational sales, not medical sales). Flower typically includes 15 to 25% THC and comes in a variety of strains with unusual and colorful names, such as Apple Fritter, Peanut Butter Lady, and Missoula Kush Cake.
Chocolates, sweets, infused olive oils, and other edibles are available in a variety of forms. THC cannot exceed 100mg per package of recreational market edibles (again, this does not apply to medical patients).
“Concentrates” are cannabis oils that have been extracted and are extremely strong. They are not suggested for first-time users.
Customers would also be able to buy smoking accessories from pot shops, such as bongs, pipes, and dab rigs – a sort of glass pipe used to consume concentrates. These items can be made in-state or imported from another country.
CBD products will also be available for sale by businesses. CBD (also known as cannabidiol) is primarily generated from federally permitted hemp and is available in a variety of forms, including edibles, tinctures, topicals, and other products. These items can either be made in Montana or imported from other states.
IS MARIJUANA SUBJECT TO TESTING IN MONTANA?
Yes. All items must be examined for bacteria, mold, heavy metals, potency, and the various substances they contain. The state is home to various testing labs, the two largest of which are Fidelity Diagnostics and Stillwater Laboratories.
ARE STORES EXPECTED TO QUICKLY RUN OUT OF MARIJUANA?
Stakeholders in the industry and business owners are ready for a significant flood of new clients who may quickly deplete supplies.
“After the first couple of days, there may not be much product available for several weeks,” said Pepper Petersen, president of the Montana Cannabis Guild, an industry trade group. “Everyone has been preparing for this, but national patterns [in states that have already legalized marijuana] predict a demand three to five times higher than for medicinal marijuana.” He noted that there may be 200,000 more in-state consumers.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA I CAN PURCHASE AT ONCE?
Customers will be able to buy up to one ounce of marijuana or the THC equivalent in other forms, such as 800 milligrams of edibles or 8 grams of concentrate, per transaction.
Customers are not restricted to a single type of goods and can mix and combine multiple types to their hearts’ content.
IS MY PURCHASE TAXABLE?
Yes. A flat 20% sales tax will be applied to all recreational marijuana purchases. Missoula, Park, Yellowstone, and Dawson counties have approved an additional local-option 3 percent tax as of this writing.
DISPENSARIES CAN STAY OPEN UNTIL WHAT TIME?
House Bill 701 states that recreational and medical marijuana shops must open no earlier than 9 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m.
CAN ONE SHOP SELL MARIJUANA OR MARIJUANA PRODUCTS FROM ANOTHER BUSINESS?
Yes. Although Montana’s medical marijuana industry was previously vertically integrated, which meant that any medical dispensary had to grow its own cannabis plants and produce any additional products, the adult-use legalization bill removed that restriction from both the medical and recreational markets. As a result, a store can now buy wholesale marijuana flower, edibles, vape cartridges, and tinctures from another grower and sell them.
CAN I GET MARIJUANA ANYWHERE IN THE STATE OF MONTANA?
No, according to HB 701, recreational sales are only allowed in counties where a majority of residents voted in support of cannabis legalization in the 2020 election. These are known as “green counties.” Counties that did not vote in favor of legalizing, on the other hand, have the option to re-vote on the issue and change their status from “red” to “green.”
Western Montana counties, on the whole, have been more receptive to allowing marijuana sales.
HOW MUCH MARIJUANA CAN I POSSESS LEGALLY?
In Montana, it is legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, or its THC equivalent in edibles, concentrates, and other products.
Marijuana possession in higher quantities is still banned in Montana. Possession of one to two ounces is deemed a civil violation, and fines of up to $500 can be imposed. More than two ounces of marijuana is deemed a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or $45,000 in fines.
CAN I DRIVE IN MONTANA WITH MARIJUANA IN MY CAR?
Yes, but there’s a big catch: everything has to be in its original box, unopened, and kept outside the car’s “passenger area.” In other words, it must be kept either (a) in a locked glove compartment or storage compartment; (b) in a trunk, luggage compartment, truck bed, or cargo compartment; (c) behind the last upright seat of a motor vehicle that does not have a trunk; or (d) in a closed container in the area of a motor vehicle that is not normally occupied by the driver or a passenger.
A person guilty of unauthorized possession of a legally permissible quantity of marijuana in a motor vehicle “must be fined an amount not to exceed $100,” according to the legislation.
IS IT PERMITTED TO DRIVE WHILE HIGH ON MARIJUANA?
No, as Petersen of the Montana Cannabis Guild stated, law enforcement authorities have the authority to pull over anyone driving recklessly. If the officer has grounds to believe the driver is under the influence of marijuana, such as smelling marijuana in the car or seeing red eyes, the officer can transport the driver to a hospital for a DUI test. A driver’s license might be temporarily suspended if they refuse a blood test.
According to the drug policy organization NORML, a first violation for drugged driving can result in jail time ranging from 24 hours to six months, as well as penalties ranging from $300 to $1,000. Subsequent violations result in harsher penalties.
CAN I POSSESS OR CONSUME MARIJUANA ON MONTANA’S INDIAN RESERVATIONS?
This is a difficult topic to answer because it depends on how federal marijuana laws are implemented in Indian Country, as well as how each tribe views marijuana legalization. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 restricted substance under federal law, despite the fact that it is legal in California.
“Tribes have limited criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians,” said state Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula. When asked if marijuana possession or public consumption offenses will be prosecuted in tribal courts, he said “probably not,” but admitted that federal law enforcement is still “a wild card.”
Morigeau advises being cautious. “Get to know the terrain,” he said. “You’re not on state soil; you’re in another country.” Keep that framework in mind.”
IN NATIONAL PARKS, CAN I POSSESS OR CONSUME MARIJUANA?
No, because national parks, such as Glacier and Yellowstone, are owned by the federal government, the federal prohibition on marijuana remains in effect. If you’re caught with marijuana in a national park, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor.
Even visitors to national parks from states where marijuana is legal who are charged with possession at a national park can be subjected to urine tests even after they return home to their legal-marijuana state, according to the cannabis news site Leafly.
“Speculate how the park would manage with a hypothetical surge of cannabis consumers,” representatives from Glacier and Yellowstone national parks declined to say.
IN MONTANA, CAN I CONSUME MARIJUANA IN PUBLIC?
No, public consumption of marijuana is punishable by civil fines of up to $50.
CAN I LEAVE MONTANA WITH MARIJUANA ON MY PERSONAL PERSONAL PERSONAL PERSONAL PERSONAL PERSONAL PERSONAL PERSONAL PER
No. It is illegal to cross state lines while in possession of marijuana. Idaho and Wyoming, Montana’s neighboring states, have stringent marijuana possession regulations.
Flying while high on marijuana is likewise prohibited.
CAN I GROW MARIJUANA ON MY OWN IN MONTANA?
Yes. Montana residents are allowed to have up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings in their homes. Those plants must be hidden from public view; failure to do so can result in a civil fine of up to $250 and the plants’ seizure. House Bill 701 proposes that residents can have more than one ounce of homegrown marijuana at home if it is kept in a closed container and out of sight of the public, but it does not define a limit.