June 3, 2019

Montana has an established medical marijuana program, but the law that was passed 13 years ago did not have provisions for a medical cannabis system. However, that changed recently, and a new Senate Bill was passed, opening the Montana medical marijuana market for prospective growing operation owners.

Retail businesses are called Marijuana Infused Products Providers (or MIPPs), and the application window is still open, with no deadline as of yet. Below is more on growing operations in Montana.

When was cannabis made legal

Montana voters passed Initiative 148 in November 2004. It ended criminal prosecution for medical cannabis that had been recommended by a physician. Patients could have up to six plants, and there was no state-regulated marijuana distribution system.

Under the new Senate Bill 033 directions of May 2017, Montana now welcomes medical marijuana businesses. The new law includes provisions for medical cannabis growing operations as well as testing facilities. Currently, the application time frame is open for growing operations and testing offices. The state also has not said when they’ll stop accepting applications.

When was cannabis made legal
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How many marijuana businesses are there currently in Montana

There no marijuana business in Montana and no licenses have been issued yet. There also are no limits on the number of licenses that will be issued. However, current dispensaries will be allowed to reopen as licensed businesses via court order.

Growing operations can be limited or banned by local municipalities. Caregivers or providers are allowed to supply registered medical marijuana patients with medical cannabis, whether it was acquired at a dispensary or grown themselves. According to Montana’s medical marijuana registry, as of February 2017 over 500 providers were associated with at least one patient.

How much money is there in the marijuana market

Medical sales for 2016 have reached $19,600,000, while profits are expected to rise to $58,000,000 until 2021.

License requirements

Under the previous law, which is currently active, dispensaries are not allowed to grow their own marijuana. Instead, only registered patients or their caregivers (who also need to be registered) may grow the plant. However, once the new law goes into effect, growing operations may supply dispensaries. The new law allows a right that was once limited to caregivers to extend to anyone that wants to start a marijuana business. As of November 2017, licensed cultivation facilities can hire people to grow and distribute medical marijuana.

License requirements
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To be considered for a marijuana growing operation license in Montana, you must be a state resident and undergo a fingerprint background check. Cannabis retailers (providers) are automatically disqualified if they have previous convictions.

In the meanwhile, providers (caregivers) can grow no more than 12 vegetating and 4 mature plants in their premises at any time. Also, dispensing and growing facilities cannot be within 1,000 feet of schools or playgrounds, or within 100 feet of any youth institutions.

Financial requirements

License fees for providers and marijuana-infused products providers may not exceed $1,000 for 10 or fewer registered cardholders or $5,000 for more than 10 registered cardholders. A provider of both marijuana and marijuana-infused products is required to have only one license. License fees for testing labs may not exceed $1,200.


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Allow yourself some time to start you Montana growing operation. Any business can take a while to get started, and it’s a good idea to allow a year or more to get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses and get suppliers and employees lined up.

Links to consulting companies that can help open a marijuana growing operation in Montana

Looking to start a marijuana growing operation in Montana? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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