Montana Dispensaries Close As Restrictions Take Effect


In August, medical marijuana dispensaries across Montana closed their doors due to new restrictions taking effect that limit cannabis providers to three patients apiece. The move left thousands of state-registered cannabis patients without a legal way to buy the drug.

After five years of unsuccessful court battles to overturn the 2011 state law that annihilated much of a voter-approved law that brought medical marijuana to Montana, restrictions will begin.

From the article:

“Medical marijuana advocates estimate that over 12,000 patients are losing legal access to cannabis because their providers did not choose them as one of their three patients. There were 13,190 registered patients at the end of July, says the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Dispensaries posted Facebook messages to their patients that they were closing Tuesday. Some offered their products at discounts, such as Lionheart Caregiving’s $3 marijuana brownie sale, while others gave away inventory before closing down (that was kind).”

For some reason, even though the people voiced their feelings on the matter, the Montana Supreme Court upheld three key provisions of the 2011 state law, “marijuana providers can sell to no more than three registered users each; doctors who recommend the drug to more than 25 patients in a year must be automatically reviewed; and cannabis advertising is banned.”

Leafly reports the Gallatin County Sherrif as saying, ‘We’re hoping they do abide by the law, and if we find out otherwise, we will be visiting with them.”

However, while enforcement of the restrictions will be the duty of sheriff’s offices and local police departments, in Gallatin County (which had 130 medical marijuana providers in July) Sheriff Brian Gootkin doesn’t have the manpower to knock on doors so they are sending out letters to providers to make sure they know what is required of them.

At the end of July, there were 488 registered providers and 304 of them sold marijuana to more than three patients- 305 providers told the department that they will continue to provide marijuana to up to three patients (to think of all the rest of them who won’t get what they need saddens me); many of the patients are in hospice or have serious illnesses and aren’t strong enough to grow their own cannabis.

Because of the restrictions, many patients will leave the state, some will go on opioids (which are dangerous and HIGHLY addictive) and still others will likely attempt to buy the drug on the black market.

More from the article:

“Patients and providers alike have pinned their hopes on a ballot initiative in the November election that would reverse many of the restrictions put into place. Dispensaries, in their Facebook farewell messages, urged their patients to vote for the measure and vowed to re-open if it passes.”

We hope that voters do turn out and ONCE AGAIN make their feelings known and heard about this issue. We will watch the November initiative and update you as we have news.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Montana Dispensaries Close As Restrictions Take Effect
Author: Erin Elizabeth
Contact: Health Nut News
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