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Montana Health Department Lowers MMJ Provider Fees, Sets New Testing Rules

Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services has made several changes to the state’s medical cannabis program, including lowering the fees for providers, implementing labeling requirements, and bolstering product testing rules, MTN News reports. The new testing rules will now require mandatory product testing instead of randomized testing protocols.

Provider license costs for those with 11 to 49 patients were reduced to $2,500; costs for providers with fewer than 11 patients will pay $1,000; and providers with more than 49 patients will pay $5,000. November’s draft rules from the department outlined a fee scheme that would have required providers with more than 10 patients pay $5,000, while those with fewer than 10 pay $1,000.

The rule changes also allow minors to participate in the medical cannabis program; however, their parent or guardian must make purchases by proxy.

Elizabeth Pincolini, owner of Alternative Wellness Montana, offers a mixed reaction to the changes, contending that random testing “is a much better way to catch pesticides” and mandatory testing is “expensive.”

“I think overall, the rules are doable for most. I expect some changes and tweaks to the rules as the program rolls out and we find things that need adjustment, but I think that is fairly typical for any new program.” Pincolini, to MTN News

The changes to the program are part of a 2016 voter-approved medical cannabis initiative, which was necessary after lawmakers had all but shut down the state’s program.

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