Montana Weed Laws

6 min read

Montana Marijuana Laws

February 3, 2023

In Montana, cannabis became legally available for both medical and recreational purposes on January 1, 2021, with the implementation of Initiative 190. Before the initiative’s passage in the November 2020 election, the recreational use of marijuana had been prohibited since 1929, and medical use was only allowed after being approved by a 2004 ballot initiative.

Adult-use cannabis facilities started operations in Montana in January 2022. By October 2022, the state reported a total revenue of $172 million from these businesses, generating approximately $34 million in taxes. 

This article will give you an overview of all the essential information regarding Montana marijuana laws.

Adult-Use Marijuana Program in Montana

Possession of Marijuana Products

Based on the latest update in Montana marijuana laws on January 1, 2021, adults 21 and over may possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana with no criminal penalties. That includes Montana residents, residents of other states and territories, and international travelers with valid identification.

Marijuana consumption and possession (including medical marijuana) remains prohibited in public and certain other locations.

Adults may cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings for private use in a private residence, subject to certain restrictions. The plants may not be visible to the public.

Under federal law, It is prohibited to consume marijuana on all federal lands and waters. Marijuana (except medical marijuana) is prohibited in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Medical Marijuana Program in Montana

Montana residents who possess a valid medical card can purchase cannabis from their provider or dispensary under the marijuana laws in the state. Marijuana must be consumed on private property, out of public view. Montana’s qualifying medical cannabis conditions are as follows:

  • Admittance into hospice care in accordance with department rules;
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
  • Cancer;
  • Central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Intractable nausea or vomiting;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • Painful peripheral neuropathy;
  • Positive status for HIV or AIDS;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • Severe chronic pain.

To obtain a medical cannabis card in Montana, you must meet the following  criteria:

  • Reside in the state of Montana
  • Be at least 18 years of age (minors must complete a separate form)
  • Be diagnosed with one of the aforementioned qualifying medical conditions.

Purchase, Consumption, and Possession of Medical Marijuana in Montana

  • Residents 18+ with a medical marijuana card can purchase cannabis from a dispensary, have it delivered by registered providers, or grow their own.
  • Those under 18 can get ID cards but must identify a parent/legal guardian as their provider.
  • A registered patient who has no provider may possess up to one ounce of usable cannabis as well as 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings.
  • Providers must be Montana residents, obtain business licenses, and undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks.
  • A provider or marijuana-infused products provider may possess a “canopy” of 30 square feet for each registered cardholder who has named the person as his or her registered provider. 
  • Dispensaries must also be registered and licensed.
  • Owners must submit fingerprints and undergo a background check.

Purchasing Limits

Under the current marijuana laws, both registered medical cannabis patients and adult recreational users can buy and possess a maximum of one ounce of marijuana flower or its equivalent:

  • Eight grams of marijuana concentrate;
  • 800 milligrams of THC-infused products or edibles;
  • 8 grams or 8 ml of THC in marijuana concentrate.

Medical patients can purchase 5 ounces per month with a daily purchase limit of one ounce. 

Where Can I Consume Marijuana?

Registered patients and adults 21 and older can consume cannabis in private under the marijuana laws. Consumption is not allowed on any school grounds, including buses, or on the grounds of any place of worship or correctional facility. Operating a vehicle, aircraft, or boat under the influence is illegal. 


Recreational cannabis users can cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings in a private, locked area out of public view under the marijuana laws in Montana. 

Medical marijuana cardholders can cultivate up to four mature plants and four seedlings, also in a private, locked area out of public view.

How to Get a Dispensary License

The Montana Department of Revenue controls the licensing of medical marijuana providers and dispensaries in Montana. The adult-use program is a separate Department of Revenue program. 

Here is the information you need to obtain a license in Montana:

  • Any medical dispensary licensed prior to November 2020, who is also in good standing with the state, can apply for a recreational license. Good standing refers to no infractions by state inspectors and also paid to date on state, personal, MJ, and income taxes.
  • The fee for an adult-use or medical marijuana dispensary license is $5,000 per location. 
  • Dispensaries can’t be located within a city, town, or county that prohibits medical marijuana use or within 500 feet of any place of worship, school, or post-secondary school. 

Marijuana laws in Montana allow for a  licensed recreational marijuana provider and licensed medical marijuana dispensary to operate in a shared location. A single entity may also be licensed for both medical and recreational marijuana.

Packaging and Labels

Marijuana products must display the following information on their labels:

  • Strain name;
  • The common or usual name of the marijuana product (e.g., flower, inhaled extract, edible, cookie, or drinkable, topical, transdermal patch);
  • The name of the marijuana dispensary that sold the product and the license number or numbers of the cultivator and manufacturer, as applicable;
  • The unique identification number generated from the seed-to-sale tracking system;
  • Date of harvest for marijuana flower or date of manufacture for marijuana products;
  • The net quantity of contents of the marijuana product:
    • In addition to weight or fluid measure, a licensee shall include the number of servings in the net quantity of contents statement if the product is a multi-serving marijuana product.
  • The following statement: “This product has been tested and meets the requirements of the state of Montana.”
  • A QR code that links to the product’s certificate of analysis with a statement informing customers they can scan the code to see additional product information;
  • The universal symbol is available on the department’s website;
  • All marijuana and marijuana products must be labeled with the following warnings:
    • “Keep out of reach of children and pets.”
    • “This product may be addictive.”
    • “This product may have intoxicating effects. Do not drive while under the influence of marijuana.”
    • Marijuana or marijuana product labeling shall not contain any statement or information that is false or misleading.
  • The label of manufactured marijuana products must identify the method of manufacturing (e.g., mechanical, chemical), and for chemical manufacturing must identify the solvent used in the manufacturing process.

Cannabis products for sale must be packaged in containers that are childproof.


In Conclusion, the state has established regulations for the cannabis industry, including licensing requirements for businesses. This helps to create a controlled and regulated market for marijuana products, reducing the potential for illegal activity and promoting public health and safety. The state is also working to ensure that revenue generated from the cannabis industry is used in a responsible manner through the collection of taxes and other fees.

Overall, Montana marijuana laws aim to provide a framework for the responsible use, possession, and sale of marijuana while protecting public health and safety. They reflect the state’s commitment to creating a well-regulated cannabis industry and using the revenue generated to support important initiatives and programs. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be important to monitor the effectiveness of these laws and make changes as necessary to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in achieving their goals.

Also, keep in mind that the marijuana laws in Montana may be subject to constant change and update, so it’s essential to stay informed about current regulations.