Montana Supreme Court: New Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Effective August 31

The Montana Supreme Court Monday delayed until Aug. 31 the effective date of medical-marijuana restrictions that it declared constitutional in February.

A majority of the court agreed with marijuana industry claims that imposing the restrictions immediately would cause “serious disruption” to a program that’s been operating now for almost five years under less-restrictive rules.

But the court rejected a request by the industry – and the Bullock administration – to delay the restrictions until 2017, to give the next Legislature a chance to modify them.

“To do so would interfere with the implementation of what we have held to be a valid act (to impose the restrictions),” Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote for the five-member majority. “Suspending a law that we have held to be constitutional until the Legislature revisits it would insert the judiciary into the legislative process and would violate the separation of powers.”

The 2011 Legislature enacted...

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