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Senate Bill Aims to Wipe Out Adult Use Dispensaries in Montana and Limit Potency

Montana's cannabis industry could be facing a major shake-up, as Senator Keith Regier recently introduced a bill proposing to dismantle the state's adult-use dispensaries. Senate Bill 546 would also raise taxes on medical marijuana by an additional 15%, raising it to 20%, and restrict potency and possession amounts. While it doesn't make possession illegal, the proposal would limit adults to one plant they can grow at home also.

Montana lawmakers are considering the bill, aimed at reducing the demand for marijuana sales in the state. Titled SB 546 and currently without any co-sponsors, the bill will face a hearing on March 29 in front of the Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee. Sen. Jason Small, R-Busby, confirmed that the hearing will take place and piqued interest among Montana residents who may be wondering what this could mean for the future of cannabis in their state.

The new bill in Montana could have a major impact on the industry. If passed, it would significantly decrease the number of potential customers for existing businesses and cut off an important source of revenue for the state. Since the legalization of adult-use marijuana sales in the beginning of 2022, the industry has brought in an impressive $54 million in tax revenue for Montana. However, less than 10% of that came from medical marijuana taxes.

Medical marijuana users may soon see a change in potency caps for flower and edibles. Senate Bill 546 aims to reduce the maximum THC content of marijuana flower sold under the medical program from 35% to 10%. This bill also lowers the permissible amount of THC in edibles from 10 milligrams to 5 milligrams and limits the THC content of concentrated extracts to 10%. These changes will impact both patients and cannabis business owners, another example of an uneducated lawmaker pushing a policy that doesn't make sense in the industry.

Also under the new bill, patients can only purchase one ounce of marijuana per month, a significant decrease from the current limit of five ounces. This includes other forms of cannabis, such as edibles and tinctures that will also count toward the one-ounce limit. The move is sparking controversy and concern among the medical marijuana community.

Senate Bill 546 could have a major impact on the cannabis industry in Montana if it is passed. It would reduce the number of potential customers for existing businesses, limit potency and possession amounts, and increase taxes on medical marijuana by 15%. These changes will significantly affect both patients and business owners alike, making this bill highly controversial among stakeholders. While lawmakers are pushing forward with their proposal to dismantle adult-use dispensaries in Montana, only time will tell what the future holds for this rapidly growing industry.


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