February 13, 2018

13 years ago, a medical cannabis law was voted on in Montana, but it included nothing about any kind of medical dispensary program or system. Fast forward more than a decade, however, and we see a new Senate bill that has made it into law. Because of it, Montana now has a market available to medical marijuana business owners.

Currently, only registered caregivers and providers are allowed to transport or deliver marijuana products to registered medical patients. In other words, you must be a caregiver or own a dispensary to set up any kind of delivery service. In order to prepare for that, let’s look at how to open a dispensary in Montana.

Marijuana retail stores need to receive a “Marijuana Infused Products Provider” license or MIPP license. Marijuana entrepreneurs are currently in luck, as the state is open for license applications. So far there is not a specific deadline for a closing date, but it is better to do it sooner rather than later, just in case they decide to close it.

When was cannabis made legal

Montana residents were clear when they voted in 2004 in favor of legalized medical marijuana (Initiative 148). 62% voted in favor of it, which is a much greater margin than a lot of other states have succeeded with. This made it so that someone possessing marijuana could not be criminally prosecuted if he or she had been given a physician’s authorization.

In addition, patients could grow their own marijuana plants at home until the dispensary system is properly up and running.

When was cannabis made legal
When was cannabis made legal – Image powered by Stonerdays.com

The newer bill, SB 033, was signed in May of 2017 by Montana’s governor. It allows medical marijuana organizations to establish businesses within the state of Montana. Testing facilities and dispensaries alike will be allowed, as long as they follow the regulations in place.

Applications are currently being accepted, so we will likely see the first dispensaries (and delivery services) popping up around the state fairly soon.

How many dispensaries are currently in Montana

Since there have not been properly functioning dispensaries in the state of Montana yet, caretakers have instead been handling the dispensing of medical marijuana. There remain more than 100 of such caretakers actively dispensing and delivering marijuana, each of which is required to have 3 or fewer patients.

No licenses have been issued to dispensaries yet, and thus far there has been no official limit placed on the number of licenses allowed to be distributed. Old dispensaries may now reopen. Local municipalities have control over what happens in their territory. They can ban or limit medical marijuana businesses if they so choose. For that reason, it is important to stay up-to-date with the rules set up by the municipality where you would like to set up your delivery business.

How much money is there in the dispensary market

Montana’s marijuana industry is booming, what with its $19,600,000 in sales during 2016 alone. By 2021 there will probably be profits of $58,000,000, according to projections.

How much money is there in the dispensary market
How much money is there in the dispensary market – Image powered by Forbes.com

License and Financial Requirements

Licensees must be Montana residents (and must be able to prove it). Fingerprint background checks are therefore required to complete a licensing application.

The fees also need to be taken into consideration. Providers of marijuana and products infused with cannabis will pay $1,000 or less for 10 cardholders registered at their dispensary. If there are more than 10 registered cardholders, the licensing fee will be $5,000. If your business provides both cannabis and products infused with cannabis, only one license is required. Testing labs will have to pay $1,200 or less for their licensing fees.


Timeframe – Image powered by Riversidehealth.co.uk

Starting a cannabis business in Montana may not take as long as other places, but you should still allow for plenty of time. It can often take one 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 delivery service in Montana

Looking to start a marijuana delivery service 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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