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The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has created an extensive Medical Marijuana Program that provides five different licenses, at least three of which are necessary to establish a dispensary.

The primary license, known as the Canopy License, is divided into tiers ranging from Micro to Tier 9. The higher the tier, the greater the number of provider locations and square footage of cultivation that you can operate. In addition to the Canopy License, you must obtain a Provider Location License and a Dispensary Location License.

The other license types include a Chemical Manufacturing Endorsement and an MIPP Location License. An MIPP is a location that produces alternative cannabis products, such as edibles and ointments. The annual fees for these licenses are scalable, based on the canopy tier and the number of dispensaries you operate.

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Montana has a relatively recent history with cannabis legalization. In 2004, the state passed a limited medical cannabis law, which allowed for the use of cannabis for certain medical conditions with a doctor’s recommendation. However, the law was vague and did not provide clear guidelines for patients, caregivers, or law enforcement, leading to confusion and controversy.

In 2011, the Montana legislature passed a bill to repeal the medical cannabis law, but it was vetoed by the governor. The state continued to struggle with regulating the medical cannabis industry, leading to a crackdown on dispensaries and a decrease in patient access to medical cannabis.

In 2020, Montana voters approved two ballot measures related to cannabis legalization. Initiative 190 legalized the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and over, while Initiative 118 amended the state constitution to allow for the legal age of cannabis consumption to be set at 21. The measures also created a regulatory framework for the commercial cultivation, production, and sale of cannabis products.

Since the passage of the ballot measures, Montana has faced challenges in implementing the law and regulating the cannabis industry. The state has struggled to issue licenses to cannabis businesses, leading to a slow rollout of legal sales. Additionally, the law maintains criminal penalties for possession of more than the legal limit of cannabis, and there have been concerns about over-policing and racial disparities in enforcement. Nonetheless, the legalization of cannabis in Montana represents a significant shift in the state’s drug policy and could have a significant impact on the state’s economy and criminal justice system.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.