Marijuana in Montana

Medical Marijuana

  • 1 oz useable.
  • 4 mature plants (12 seedlings).
  • Physician’s permission/state ID card.

Criminal Penalties


Less than 60 grams: Misdemeanor – 3 years

W/intent to distribute: Felony: 20 years


Felony – Up to life


Felony – Up to 20 years

Montana’s medical marijuana law (Initiative 148) passed in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote. The law permits up to 1 ounce of useable marijuana, 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings.

Approved medical conditions include HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or Chrohn's disease; or any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the Montana Department of Health.

In 2013, Montana lawmakers were reviewing another set of changes to the law, including a provision that would eliminate automatic review of any physician who has issued certification for more than 25 medical marijuana patients in any 12-month period; permit medical marijuana providers to be paid for pot; and remove the three-person limit for medical marijuana providers.

In March 2011, the legislature included many of those restrictions when it amended the law in an attempt to further restrict the medical marijuana industry. Those restrictions reduced the number of medical marijuana cardholders from 30,000 to about 7,500 and the number of providers from 4,400 to 300. The restrictions have been challenged by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association and other advocates for access.

Montana Medical Marijuana – Federal Enforcement

Our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys know Montana is also dealing with intrusion from the federal government. Marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and federal penalties for the sale and cultivation of marijuana can be quite severe.

In early 2013, the Missoulian reported a medical marijuana grower was sentenced to 5 years in prison under federal mandatory minimums. The charges stem from a federal raid on a medical marijuana greenhouse in March 2011. He had initially faced 80 years in prison.

Montana is one of a growing number of states in which some in state government continue to thwart the will of the voters by layering restrictions and bureaucracy upon a voter-approved initiative to permit the compassionate use of marijuana among patients who may benefit from its proven medicinal properties. Growers, distributors and other businesses engaged in the medical marijuana trade must retain experienced legal counsel to assert their rights under the law.

Montana Medical Marijuana and DUI law

Montana also joins a growing number of states looking to legislate marijuana consumption by drivers.

One measure in 2013 sought to set the legal limit at 5 ng/ml of delta-9 tetrahyrocannabinol. The Montana Highway Patrol reports the number of DUI cases involving marijuana is on the rise – from 372 in 2010 to 486 in 2012. About one-quarter of fatal DUI cases involve marijuana, according to state law enforcement.

There are a number of challenges in attempting to quantify intoxication as it relates to marijuana – namely the fact that marijuana remains in a person’s system for as long as a month after consumption – long after its impact has dissipated. Regular users may also develop a tolerance – which makes higher test results more likely in medical marijuana patients.

Montana Medical Marijuana News Archive

Montana Considers Legal Limit for Marijuana In DUI Laws, Transportation Nation, March 15, 2013.

House panel hears 4 bills to fix Montana medical marijuana law, Missoulian, Feb. 13, 2013.

Montana medical marijuana grower gets 5 years in federal prison, Missoulian, Feb. 1, 2013.

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