History of CBD and Cannabis: Montana
It was in the early 2000s that residents first started voting in favor of cannabis policy reform in the state of Montana. Through a tumultuous ballot initiative, medical marijuana policy just barely scraped enough support to be signed into law.
The medical marijuana policy made it possible for patients with certain conditions to be prescribed a small amount of cannabis. Under the new provisions, providers were unable to vend to more than three patients at a time, which made the law virtually ineffective on a larger scale.
Even more than a decade later, subsequent attempts to repeal the law and reduce the list of qualifying conditions have continued to threaten the policy. It was only in 2016 that a house bill finally allowed cannabis vendors the opportunity to serve more than three patients.
Cannabis, CBD, and Montana
Following a statewide health and agriculture committee session, marijuana was fully banned in Montana for recreational and medical use. This followed nationwide rhetoric that posited marijuana caused violence, insanity, and mania. Cannabis came to be known as a major health threat to young people.
It would take decades before the prohibition on cannabis was revised. Throughout the late twentieth century, the national War on Drugs hampered advocates’ attempts to decriminalize or soften cannabis policies in the state.
After the medical marijuana policy was adopted in the year 2004, the number of valid cardholders grew by thousands every year. State legislators, growing nervous, sought to throttle the program by placing extremely strong restrictions on qualifying health conditions.
After a bill strengthening key medical marijuana provisions passed through both houses, Governor Schweitzer ended up repealing the act, which caused the number of marijuana cardholders to drop significantly in the following years.
In 2016, constituents put mounting pressure on the legislature to fully readopt the medical program. Ultimately, initiative I-182 passed with majority support, which added PTSD to the list of valid conditions and loosened marijuana quantity restrictions.
The legislature and state officials continue to work to restrict marijuana decriminalization and legalization efforts. In the 2020 legislative session, multiple bills up for review seek to add mandatory testing requirements and impose higher tax rates on cannabis sales.
Despite legislative infighting, municipal governments have adopted their own policies concerning CBD and cannabis. Within the state, the low THC CBD market has grown incredibly strong, generating millions in revenue over the past decade. Officials and residents are hopeful that the state will slowly begin to adopt sensible cannabis reform.