Sarah Climaco

Montana MMJ Draft Rules Released

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services has proposed draft rules for the medical cannabis program under the expanded regime approved by voters last year. The rules put the state program in line with others throughout the U.S., requiring product testing, and seed-to-sale tracking.

Under the plan, providers with more than 10 registered patients would need to pay the state $5,000 per year in licensing fees, while smaller providers would pay $1,000. Testing labs would pay $2,000 per year. Currently, there are four testing labs in the state operating under temporary licenses.

The new rules also require cannabis industry employees to obtain a permit prior to working, but individuals convicted of a prior drug offense will not be eligible. The permit runs $50.

The proposed measure also increases the fee paid by patients from $5 to $30.

According to October figures from the health department, there were 21,120 patients registered with the state, along with 610 providers. The patient enrollment represents a 1,305 patient increase over September figures, while the provider counts remained the same.

The Department of Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing on the rules proposal on Nov. 30.

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