Montana: Court Rules That Medical Dispensaries Can Immediately Begin Serving Patients

Helena, MT: Voter-initiated changes in law governing the operation of medical cannabis providers may take effect ahead of the measure’s June 30, 2017 implementation date, according to a court ruling.

Fifty-six percent of Montana voters approved I-182 on Election Day, which expands patients’ access to medical cannabis. However, a drafting error in the measure delays implementation of the new law until the end of June. Last week, a Helena District Court Judge determined that petitioners’ error should not unduly delay qualified patients from obtaining medical cannabis, and called on specific provisions of the law to take immediate effect.

Approximately 13,000 patients are qualified to use medical marijuana under the state’s 2004 law, which was gutted by lawmakers in 2011. Initiative 182 restores many of the programs original provisions, and also includes new guidelines for product testing and labeling.

For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.