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Billings lowers minimum age to own or work for marijuana businesses to 18

Cannabis Grower Hand and Plant


On Monday night, the Billings City Council brought its marijuana laws in line with state marijuana laws and lowered the age a person can work for or own a marijuana business from 21 to 18.

The city has the right to establish an age requirement for marijuana business license holders and their employees, but voted 8-3 to lower the minimum age to 18.

The 21-year-old age requirement prompted the Billings dispensary, Montana Advanced Caregivers, to file a lawsuit against the city earlier this month. The dispensary employs three people who are older than 18, but not yet 21.


Montana is now a pot state, not a coal one — so tell our federal delegation

Cannabis pot leaf LED light

For years now we have heard Jon Tester and Steve Daines declare themselves “coal state senators” whenever they so willingly vote against measures to reduce or tax the use of coal and its planet-killing pollution. But as recently released data show, the state and local tax revenue and number of jobs created by Montana’s legalization of recreational and medical marijuana now outpace coal — a trend that is expected to continue.


Montana Supreme Court OKs temporary rules for cannabis expungement

cannabis plant

New rules in Montana help clear up confusion over how those previously convicted for pot-related offenses can get their records cleared.

The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday issued temporary rules related to expungement procedures for individuals previously convicted for a pot-related offense.

As reported by local television station KPAX, the new adult-use recreational cannabis law in Montana “says anyone convicted of an offense that would now be legal in the state can petition to have their conviction removed from their record, get a lesser sentence for it or reclassify it to a lesser offense.”

On Tuesday, per Montana Public Radio, the high court “approved temporary rules that outline procedures for expunging or revising marijuana-related convictions.”


Montana brings in $12.8M in first month of recreational marijuana sales


We have made it through January which means we're already one month into legal recreational marijuana sales. The Montana Department of Revenue released its sales numbers this morning. Montana brought in $12.8 million in marijuana sales for its first month.

Adam Ryder, owner of Juniper Cannabis in Bozeman and Belgrade says recreational marijuana sales were pretty much what they expected.

 “Largely speaking it was about what we expected, certainly the first week was pretty intense,” says Ryder.

The first weekend alone sales topped $1.5 million. In the first full week, recreational sales were just $2.9 million. For Ryder’s downtown store location, tourism in the valley has been a driver of sales.


Guns or marijuana, but not both


While marijuana became legal for adults to purchase in Montana on New Year’s Day, a key federal agency has confirmed a fact underreported in coverage of the state’s new marijuana program: It remains illegal under federal law for individuals to simultaneously possess marijuana or marijuana products and firearms, and penalties for violating that law are severe. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed the policy to Montana Free Press last week, noting that the federal Gun Control Act prohibits a person who possesses a controlled substance from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Cannabis is currently recognized as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance.


Sniff it out: Marijuana legalization spurs K9 retirements, retraining


After the legalization of recreational marijuana in Montana, law enforcement has had to make changes to the way it trains K9s.

It has also had to retire some working K9s, even after those dogs have been trained off searching for weed.

“What we can’t have is K9s indicating on vehicles, lockers, whatever it is they’re sniffing, on a product that’s legal to be in possession of,” said Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer.

“That’s why we don’t have K9s that hit on nicotine or alcohol.”


Medical marijuana users brace for shortages as Montana’s recreational market opens

old couple

More than a year after voters approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Montana, anyone older than 21 can now walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis. That has medical marijuana user Joylynn Mane Wright worried.

Wright lives in Prairie County, the state’s fifth-least-populated county, with nearly 1,100 people. She already drives about 35 minutes to get to the marijuana dispensary nearest her home, which is 2½ hours northeast of Billings. And now she wonders how much more difficult it will be to get the cannabis she uses to relieve the chronic pain she developed after a 2017 spinal surgery.

“I’m really worried about supplies and what it’s going to cost,” she said.


Adult Use Marijuana Is Now Legal in Montana. So Why Can't Everyone Enjoy It?


Montanans voted to legalize in 2020, then things got complicated.

As a sign of the changing times, voters in conservative Montana approved recreational marijuana in November 2020. Now the state's dispensaries are preparing for recreational cannabis sales expected to create a $325 million adult-use cannabis market in just three years.

Sales started on January 1, 2022. But they won't happen in every county—at least not initially. Montana lawmakers have decided that counties where voters did not support legalization, must hold a separate referendum to make sales legal in their county.


Montana marijuana FAQ


Adult-use recreational marijuana sales begin on New Year’s Day 2022. From possession limits to travel tips, here’s what you need to know to keep on the right side of the new law.

On Jan. 1, 2022, adult-use recreational marijuana will become available for purchase in Montana. The launch of the new market raises a wide range of questions, from how much marijuana an individual can possess, to whether they can consume it in a national park, to the types of products that will be available for purchase.

Read on for answers to those questions, and many more, in this MTFP guide to the state’s post-prohibition marijuana marketplace. 


Recreational marijuana back on ballot in Yellowstone County

marijuana leafs

Initiative will appear on June 7 primary

Six weeks after Billings residents voted to ban recreational marijuana sales within city limits, Yellowstone County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to give county voters the same chance.

Chariman Don Jones, Denis Pitman, and John Ostlund, who voted against a similar resolution in August, all agreed to put the issue on the June 7 primary ballot. The move comes just 18 days before recreational marijuana sales become legal in Montana after House Bill 701 was signed into law earlier this year. Montana voters approved recreational sales on a state level in the November 2020 election.


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