Legislative Update: HB 701

As of “press time” HB701, the governor’s marijuana bill, has passed both the house and senate with amendments concurred and is headed to Governor Gianforte’s desk. He still has the authority to line-item veto items, so this is just a very high overview of what ended up in the bill. Keep in mind this is paraphrased and does not remotely include everything or details. See HB0701.pdf (mt.gov) for the bill in its entirety. The page numbers where additional information can be found are in parentheses. Here are the highlights:

In order to be licensed, dispensaries and cultivators must show local government approval in counties who voted against I-190. (P. 6-8)

Department may adopt rules to establish THC limits. (P. 9)

Products sold are based on concentration of THC, not weight. (P.9)

THC cap of 35% for flower. Dispensaries can sell higher THC to medicinal cardholders. (P. 9)

Workers have to annually pass training that includes identification, prevention, and reporting for human trafficking, rules and regulations for legal sales and other training required by the department. (P. 11)

18 year olds can work in marijuana dispensaries and cultivation (P. 11)

It’s illegal to have marijuana in a vehicle unless in a locked compartment or in unopened packaging. (P. 15)

4% tax for medicinal and 20% for adult-use. (P. 35)

MIP of marijuana: forfeiture of the drug, and $100 fine or 4 hours of drug education or counseling; youth’s choice. Additional consequences if intent to distribute. (P. 57)

Can’t operate a motor vehicle while under the influence. Can’t consume while operating or riding in the passenger seat. Can’t possess or consume on school property, on public transportation, in healthcare facility, in correctional facilities, in hotel/motel, where tobacco is prohibited, in public, where it endangers others. (P. 60)

Revenue goes to HEART funding, but includes 20% to FWP, 4% to state parks, 4% trails, 4% to non-game, 3% to veterans, $300K to Dept of Justice, $150K Board of Crime Control (P. 66)

Department may make rules to limit THC. (P. 70)

No advertising, except for directory and website, but no prices. (P 70)

Licenses will be issued for adult-use on 7/1/23. However, 1/1/22 medicinal can sell to cardholders and adult-use in jurisdictions that allow marijuana businesses. (P. 73)

No on-premise consumption. (P 81)

No licenses issued in zones where it conflicts with a city ordinance or located within 500 feet of church or school unless locality requires greater distance. (P. 86)

No drive up windows, vending machines, no free products or samples, can’t be given as prizes, can’t operate between 8p and 9a, no one under 21 allowed in dispensary. (P. 87)

Cannot operate in jurisdiction where I-190 was defeated until jurisdiction gives approval. If medicinal already there, they can stay. An election can be requested. (P. 94)

Local option excise tax can be implemented but can’t exceed 3%. (P. 147)

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