New Montana medical marijuana law round the corner; uncertainty looms large
With new Montana medical marijuana law round the corner July 1, uncertainty looms large over the medical marijuana industry, which apparently is clueless as to whether its businesses will be legal once the law comes into force.
Among the restrictions that the new law - which seemingly will replace Montana's 2004 voter-approved initiative which had legalized the medical use of marijuana – will bring on includes a stipulation that will require providers to give marijuana to their patients, instead of selling it, as is the case under the existing law.
In addition, the new law will also apparently allow patients to either grow their own pot in limited quantities or obtain it from caregivers - who will be able to grow for only three people apiece; marking a notable change from the provision for an unlimited number at present.
With over a whopping 30,000 people in Montana currently having medical marijuana cards, trade group Montana Cannabis Industry Association is seeking a temporary injunction against the law, claiming that it is unconstitutional.
However, as of now, “dispensary owners are in limbo-land” – as Tom Charlton, owner of M4U medical marijuana shop off North Reserve Street, put it -, with marijuana growers and providers not knowing whether to keep their plants and product in the hope that District Judge James Reynolds in Helena will strike down the new law, or to destroy them in case the judge gives the go-ahead to the law!
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