Legal cannabis: Next steps, and what you can do now

Presently, the only legal way to acquire cannabis for adult-use purposes is to grow it yourself — traveling to a state where recreational cannabis is legal to buy and bringing it back to Montana would break federal law.

HB 701 gives established Montana medical marijuana providers an 18-month head start on the adult-use market, and dispensaries that are not already established will not be able to apply for an adult-use license from the state until July 1, 2023.

HB 701 also prohibits the smoking of marijuana in a public place, other than establishments licensed for its consumption, and those who do could be fined up to $50.

While much of this is spelled out in HB 701, Department of Revenue spokesperson Sanjay Talwani said a lot of work remains to implement the law.

As written in the initiative, counties had the ability to opt out of the adult-use cannabis market.

As a result, marijuana opponents and proponents say the battle over recreational cannabis will now move to the county level.

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