Montana Medical Marijuana Card

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Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Montana?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Montana. The Montana Medical Marijuana Act was passed in 2004 by a ballot initiative called Initiative 148 (I-148) in the 2004 elections. The Montana electorates approved legalizing medical marijuana in the state by a vote of 62%. The Montana Medical Marijuana Program was established by the Act and put under the supervision of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

The state legislature repealed the Montana Medical Marijuana Act of 2004 in 2011 and replaced it with Senate Bill 423 (Montana Marijuana Act), which limited the number of patients physicians can recommend for medical marijuana in a year. SB 423 further redefined qualifying medical conditions for the medical marijuana program in the state. In 2016, ballot Initiative 182 (i-182) was approved by voters in the 2016 general elections to reverse the restrictive provisions of SB 423 and increase the number of qualifying medical conditions.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Montana in 2024

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Get a physician's recommendation with a Physician Statement Form signed by a Montana-licensed physician via a telemedicine or in-person consultation. A qualifying patient who is a minor will use the Physician Statement for Minors Form and needs approval from two physicians unless the minor's physician is a neurologist, epileptologist, or oncologist

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Once the applicant obtains their physician's recommendation, they should initiate and complete their application for a Montana medical marijuana card online through the TransAction Portal (TAP). The application must be submitted within 60 days of obtaining the physician's recommendation

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After submitting their application, the qualifying patient will be able to print a temporary card from TAP for temporary use, valid for 60 days

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The Montana Medical Marijuana Program will send a physical copy of the medical marijuana card to the applicant's mailing address within 60 days

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Montana

The Montana Medical Marijuana Act permits individuals with medical marijuana cards to buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Persons with certain debilitating medical conditions can apply for medical marijuana cards from the Cannabis Control Division (CCD), provided they have written certifications from licensed physicians recommending medical marijuana treatment for them. The state’s Medical Marijuana Act stipulates the following as qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana therapy in 2024:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Painful peripheral neuropathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Admittance into hospice care
  • Central nervous system disorder
  • Severe chronic pain that interferes with daily activities and documented by patients treating physician

Montana law prohibits persons in the custody of the Department of Corrections or youth court from obtaining medical marijuana cards. If they are already cardholders, their registration will be rendered invalid.

Can I Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card In Montana Online?

Yes. After obtaining a physician's recommendation for medical cannabis via telemedicine, a qualifying patient can apply for a Montana medical marijuana card online. The state does not accept paper applications for medical cannabis cards. All medical marijuana card applications must be through TAP.

How Do I Register With The Montana Medical Marijuana Program?

Qualifying medical marijuana patients in Montana can register in the state's medical marijuana program online through the TransAction Portal. However, before initiating the process, they are required to obtain recommendations for medical marijuana from Montana-licensed physicians. For further inquiries in registering as a patient or caregiver in the Montana Medical Marijuana Program, contact the state's Department of Revenue.

Do I Need To Be A Montana Resident To Get A Medical Marijuana Card?

Yes. Any individual applying for a Montana medical marijuana card must be a resident of the state with valid proof of residency. Acceptable proofs include a voter registration form, Montana driver's license, Montan fishing or hunting license, and Montana-issued state ID or tribal identification card.

What Is The Cost Of A Montana Medical Marijuana Card?

It costs a non-refundable $20 fee to apply for a medical marijuana card in Montana. The fee must be paid before the application is processed. There are no provisions for reduced fees for veterans or persons on financial aid programs. Applicants can make payments online using their debit cards, credit cards, or Automated Clearing House Networks (ACH). They may also pay via mail with checks or money orders sent to the Department of Revenue at:

Montana Department of Revenue

P.O. Box 5835

Helena, MT 59604

Marijuana providers pay licensing fees ranging from $500 to $20,000 annually, depending on the number of registered patients under their care and the volume of marijuana they produce. Medical marijuana patients, marijuana providers, and marijuana-infused product providers must renew their licenses yearly in Montana.

What Do You Need When Visiting A Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Montana?

In Montana, medical marijuana patients can only purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries associated with their marijuana providers or marijuana-infused product providers. They are required to present their medical marijuana cards to the dispensary employees, who will verify the validity of the cards. Montana uses a tracking system to track the frequency and dosage of marijuana purchases by medical marijuana patients. The dispensary is required by law to log all purchases made by medical marijuana patients.

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana In Montana?

A medical marijuana card applicant in Montana must obtain a written physician certification and a signed physician's statement for a debilitating medical condition before applying to the Cannabis Control Division (CCD). Only a physician licensed as a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) with an established office in Montana and having a bonafide doctor-patient relationship with the applicant can issue the certification and the written statement. The written certification must indicate the following:

  • Physician’s name, office address, email address, and license number
  • Name, date of birth, and medical condition of the patient

A physician’s signed statement and written certification for medical cannabis treatment in Montana is valid for a maximum of 12 months after the date of issue. However, it can be issued for a lesser period if the physician recommends it. Montana does not maintain a list of approved physicians for its medical marijuana program.

Can A Minor Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Montana?

Yes, minors under the age of 18 years can be issued medical marijuana cards in Montana, provided their custodial parents or legal guardians agree to serve as their marijuana-infused products providers. Custodial parents or legal guardians of such minors must provide the following to the Cannabis Control Division:

  • Proof of legal guardianship, birth certificates, or court document enforcing legal guardianships
  • Signed physicians' statement for debilitating medical conditions for minors stating that the treating physicians have explained to the minors and their parents/legal guardians the potential benefits and risks of using marijuana and that other
  • Fingerprints for background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Montana Department of Justice, and they must bear the cost of the background checks
  • A written statement that the parents or legal guardians agree to the following:
    • The use of cannabis by the minor patients
    • To control the acquisition, dosage and frequency of the use of marijuana by the minor patients
    • To serve as the minor patients' marijuana-infused products providers
    • The minor patients will only use marijuana-infused products and not smoke marijuana

Furthermore, Montana law mandates a written certification from a second physician, in addition to the treating physician, recommending medical marijuana for a minor with a debilitating medical condition

Can You Get A Medical Marijuana Card At 18 In Montana?

Yes. Minors need to provide proof of consent from their parents or legal guardians when applying for medical marijuana cards in Montana. However, when they turn 18, the state regards them as adults and allows them to renew or obtain new cards as adults. As adults, 18-year olds participating in the Montana medical marijuana program do not need the consent of their parents or guardians to apply for medical cannabis cards.

How To Renew Your Montana Medical Marijuana Card

The steps for renewing a Montana medical marijuana card are similar to new applications. Renewals are done via the TransAction Portal. Patients must obtain new physician certifications for each renewal process. All other documents submitted for new applications are also required for Montana medical marijuana card renewal. The renewal process can be started 60 days before the expiration of a current medical marijuana card.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana In Montana?

Yes. A medical marijuana cardholder may cultivate up to four mature cannabis plants and 12 seedlings at home, provided they have not designated a marijuana provider or marijuana-infused products provider to cultivate for them. They must not grow marijuana within 1,000 feet of schools and public places. Furthermore, the grow site must not be visible to the public. If they do not own the proposed property for growing cannabis, they are required by law to obtain permission from the property owner.

Montana law permits counties and cities to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of marijuana within their jurisdiction. Persons interested in growing marijuana must obtain local authority permissions before they can be licensed to cultivate marijuana.

Montana: Benefits Of Having A Medical Marijuana Card In A Recreational Marijuana-Legal State

Medical marijuana cardholders in Montana can grow more marijuana plants at home for personal use than recreational cannabis users. While recreational weed consumers are restricted to two mature plants and two seedlings, patients with state-issued marijuana cards can cultivate up to four mature plants and four seedlings. Additionally, medical cannabis card holders in Montana pay less taxes on marijuana purchases. They only pay 4% on retail purchases, while recreational consumers pay 20% sales tax in addition to local taxes, mostly around 3%.

With a medical marijuana card, a qualifying patient younger than 21 years can legally purchase cannabis products at licensed dispensaries. Only adults aged 21 years or older can buy marijuana for recreational use in Montana. Furthermore, Montana marijuana cards are acceptable for medical marijuana purchases in some other states, enabling marijuana patients from Montana to buy cannabis for medical uses in those states.

Does Montana Allow Medical Marijuana Patients To Designate Caregivers?

Yes, medical marijuana patients can designate caregivers in Montana. Caregivers in Montana are called marijuana providers or marijuana-infused product providers, depending on the service they provide. Persons who assist medical marijuana patients in cultivating and using marijuana are marijuana providers. In contrast, persons who manufacture or purchase marijuana-infused products and administer them to medical marijuana patients are marijuana-infused product providers.

  • Marijuana providers or marijuana-infused products providers in Montana must meet the following requirements:
  • They must be residents of Montana
  • They must be at least 18 years of age
  • They must not have criminal records or prior convictions

Both marijuana providers and marijuana-infused product providers must be registered with the Cannabis Control Division. They are also required to submit their fingerprints for background checks. There is no limit to the number of medical marijuana patients they can serve. Furthermore, they may open dispensaries to serve their patients better. Parents and legal guardians of minor patients must register as marijuana-infused product providers in Montana. In addition, marijuana providers or marijuana-infused product providers can cultivate a canopy of up to 30 square feet of marijuana for each registered medical marijuana cardholder they serve.

Montana Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Although some states accept medical marijuana cards issued in Montana, the state has no marijuana reciprocity laws currently. This means that Montana does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. Only patients who are enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program can legally purchase medical cannabis products there.

Are My Medical Marijuana Records Private?

Yes. Medical marijuana records are not considered public records in Montana and should be kept private as stipulated in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In most cases, unless a patient gives their permission, no individual will be able to access their medical cannabis records. Under certain circumstances, as outlined in the HIPAA Privacy Rules, employers and law enforcement agencies may request access to patients' medical marijuana records in Montana.

Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana In Montana?

No, insurance does not cover patients' medical marijuana expenses in Montana.

What Is The Medical Card Limit In Montana?

A Montana medical marijuana card allows a qualifying patient to purchase up to 1 ounce of usable cannabis a day, subject to a maximum of 5 ounces a month.

Can You Go To A Dispensary Without A Medical Card In Montana?

A Montana-issued medical cannabis card is required to purchase medical marijuana at state-licensed marijuana dispensaries.

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