Cannabis POS software to streamline Montana dispensaries
Table of contents
Timeline of Marijuana Legalization in Montana
2004: The Montana Medical Marijuana Allowance initiative was approved. Since then, patients with debilitating medical conditions have been allowed to use medical marijuana.
2020: In November 2020, recreational marijuana was legalized with the passing of the Marijuana Legalization Initiative. Recreational sales are not yet allowed. They are scheduled to begin in January 2022.
Montana Cannabis Laws
When managing a dispensary, your ultimate priority is compliance. Playing by the rules and steering clear of any discrepancies or violations is the best way to grow your revenue and expand your business. Avoiding fines, police investigations, or loss of license is key to success in the cannabis industry.
Let’s focus on the main requirements that you must always keep in mind.
Patients must be 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess, and consume recreational marijuana. To get access to medical marijuana, you must have a state-approved medical marijuana patient card. Patients qualifying for this card are the ones with “debilitating medical conditions” diagnosed by a physician. The list of such conditions includes:
- Admittance into hospice care in accordance with department rules
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder
- Intractable nausea or vomiting
- Multiple sclerosis
- Painful peripheral neuropathy
- Positive status for HIV or AIDS
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe chronic pain
Note that you are not allowed to consume and possess marijuana in public places, as well as on federal lands and waters. Recreational marijuana consumption and possession are prohibited in hospitals and any other healthcare facilities. Operating any motor vehicles under the influence of marijuana is strictly prohibited.
Dispensary Design Requirements
You cannot open a dispensary in a town, city, or county zone where any activity related to medical marijuana use is not allowed.
A licensed dispensary cannot be within 500 feet of any church, synagogue, mosque, or other places of worship. The same goes for schools or postsecondary schools, except for commercially operated schools. If you rent a storefront, you will also need approval from the landlord.
You must install commercial-grade locks on every external door and gate and ensure you have a written security plan always present on site.
There is a list of other dispensary-specific requirements that will be inspected by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). They include online monitoring, proper surveillance, and required vault construction and cannabis storage.
Medical marijuana patients with a state-issued MMJ card can buy a 30-day supply of medical cannabis, up to 5 ounces but no more than 1 ounce per day.
Recreational marijuana consumers will be able to purchase up to 1 ounce of dried cannabis flower with no more than 8 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Before being sold or transferred to a registered cardholder, all containers with usable marijuana or marijuana products must have labels with the following information:
- Licensee business/trade name
- Licensee registration number
- Date of the harvest of marijuana/date the marijuana item was manufactured
- Name of strain or marijuana item
- Net weight or volume
- Concentration by weight or volume of CBD, CBDA, THC, and THCA
- Unique identification number
All labels must display warnings such as For use by Montana Medical Marijuana Program registered cardholders only, Keep out of reach of children, It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, and This product is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
After the item has passed the required testing, include This Product Has Been Tested and Meets the Quality Assurance Requirements of the State of Montana on the label.
If you are a licensee with ten or fewer registered cardholders who do not have to submit marijuana items for testing, you must include This Product Has Not Been Tested for compliance with Quality Assurance Requirements of the State of Montana on the label.
The list of additional labeling requirements for suppositories, ointments, marijuana topicals, and other marijuana products not going to be administered orally includes the following:
- DO NOT EAT in bold capital letters
- A list of ingredients
The list of additional labeling requirements for edible marijuana products and tinctures includes the following:
- BE CAUTIOUS in bold capital letters
- This product can take up to two hours or more to take effect
- A statement saying that the marijuana item must be kept frozen or refrigerated (for perishable marijuana items)
- List of potential major food allergens
- A contains statement to summarize the information on major food allergens at the end of or immediately after the ingredients list
- A statement of the appropriate major food allergen in parenthesis within the ingredient list after the common or usual name of the ingredient derived from that major food allergen
The list of additional labeling requirements for marijuana concentrates and extracts includes the following:
- DO NOT EAT in bold capital letters
- The extraction method and solvent
All labels must:
- Be placed on any packaging and containers used to display marijuana items for sale or transfer to a registered cardholder
- Be in no smaller than eight-point Arial, Helvetica, or Times New Roman font
- Be in English
- Be unobstructed and conspicuous
Labels may not:
- Contain any untruthful or misleading statements
- Be attractive to minors (with labeling and marketing featuring cartoons; images of minors; designs, names, or brands that resemble non-cannabis consumer products of the type that are typically marketed to minors; celebrities or symbols that are commonly used to market products to minors; words that refer to products that are associated with minors or marketed by minors)
If necessary, you can put one or more labels. You may also use a peel-back or accordion label with the required information. In this case, make sure the label can be easily identified by a registered cardholder as containing important information.
If you put a marijuana item in a package that is being reused, you must remove the original label or labels and put new ones. Also, make sure that exit packaging contains a label that reads Keep out of the reach of children.
Seed-to-Sale Tracking and Metrc
Before taking part in any commercial cannabis activity, make sure that at least one owner or manager in your business takes charge of the inventory tracking system. To do so, they need to attend and complete all required inventory tracking system training. You shall maintain a complete list of all inventory tracking system administrators and users to stay compliant with regulations. All grown, processed, transported, tested, and sold medical marijuana products must be tracked through Metrc.
There are no limits for operational hours of dispensaries. However, almost all dispensaries in Montana open at 10:00 a.m. and close around 7:00 p.m.
Delivery is not permitted.
A license is required for both medical and adult-use dispensaries. However, Montana is currently only accepting medical marijuana dispensary applications. To get them, you must first apply for a provider license. Once you’ve acquired a provider license, you can apply for a license online at the Montana DPHHS website.
When applying for a dispensary license in Montana, a provider with up to 10 registered cardholders pays $1000. Providers with 11-49 registered cardholders pay $2,500, and providers with 50 or more pay $5,000. Once you acquire a license, annual fees on one registered location are $500, two or three registered locations are $5000, four or five registered locations are $25,000, and six or more locations are $100,000.
Cannabis in Montana is legal for medical use.
Cannabis in Montana is not legal for recreational use at this time.