Montana lawmakers and officials are pushing back against proposed rules that would prohibit cannabis dispensaries from selling CBD and allow the Department of Revenue to suspend or revoke cannabis worker licenses for individuals who have been convicted of any criminal offense or a cannabis-related crime in any other state, the Helena Independent Record reports.
Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour (D), who chairs the Revenue Interim Committee, told Courtney Cosgrove, the attorney for the Cannabis Control Division, that a ban on cannabis retailers selling CBD was not intended by the Legislature, and that stakeholders “would really appreciate the department coming up for a way to address this.”
J.D. Pepper Petersen, president of the Montana Cannabis Guild, said that the rule to bar those with criminal records from participating in the industry also does not follow the intent of the law passed by the Legislature which took a number of criminal charges off the books.
The state’s legalization bill requires background checks and prohibits anyone with a felony from obtaining a license to sell cannabis, but the revenue department’s rule would include misdemeanors or traffic citations, the report says.
“Why legalize if you’re going to continue to punish the people you were punishing previously? But most importantly, the department needs to be empowering people to get to work right now in any way they can. So putting up barriers to employment is a horrible idea.” — Petersen to the Independent Record
Brendan Beatty, director of the Department of Revenue, said the agency is doing its “very, very best to effectuate legislative intent.”
Cosgrove indicated that both issues are on the division’s radar and that they would “sit down and figure out how to address this.”
Retail cannabis sales in Montana are set to begin on January 1.
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