States across the nation have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Montana voters opted to follow suit in 2020, approving the use of this substance in the November 3, 2020, election. The state was joined by three others in allowing the use, possession, and cultivation of the substance by those who are 21 years of age and older. However, that does not mean a person can do so without restrictions.
A person 21 years of age or older can now possess one ounce or less of cannabis legally in the state. If using marijuana concentrate, the individual can legally possess 8 grams or less. This applies to recreational use.
Individuals may buy up to five ounces of medical marijuana each month but are limited to purchasing one ounce per day. This applies to cardholders taking part in the medical marijuana program.
Users pay fees on marijuana purchases in the state. The 20 percent tax imposed by the state is expected to bring in $48 million a year by 2025. The state will then use this money for program administration and enforcement. Some taxes go into the general fund and special revenue accounts for various programs. This general fund receives $4 million from the fees. Learn more at weed-seeds.com.
Employers and Marijuana Use
Employers retain the right to discipline any employee who violates a workplace drug policy, such as an individual who shows up at work while under the influence of marijuana. Employers also have the right to terminate, discharge, or refuse to hire any person who violates the company drug policy or appears at work intoxicated.
As of January 1, 2021, residents of Montana may begin cultivating cannabis. Each person remains restricted to growing no more than four plants or four seedlings for personal use. In addition, the state requires these plants to be hidden from public view in an enclosed area that remains locked. The grower must reside on the property where the cannabis is grown or stored. If they do not own the property, growers must request written permission to engage in these activities on the property.
If a person is caught cultivating marijuana in public view, they may be fined up to $250 and be required to forfeit the marijuana. The same holds true if they fail to cultivate the cannabis in a confined area that can be locked.
People cannot smoke or consume cannabis products in public spaces. The only exception is those public areas that have been designated for its use. If a person violates this portion of the law, they face a civil fine of up to $50. No person can operate any type of motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.
Expungement or Resentencing
Any person who has previously been convicted of a crime involving marijuana may request a resentencing or ask that their conviction be expunged. The only crimes they may request this for would be ones that are now considered legal thanks to the passage of this law.
Each jurisdiction retains the right to establish stricter laws for its residents. For this reason, what may be permitted in one county in Montana could be banned in another county within the state. It falls on the user to know the local restrictions.
Individuals in Montana appreciate being able to cultivate, possess, and use marijuana for recreational purposes. However, they must know the federal government still prohibits the possession, cultivation, and consumption of the substance. Consider this when determining whether you want to smoke weed or grow it on your property.