In Growing Marijuana in Montana – MT Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how Montana residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana was legalized in the state just this 2020 but there are a few compelling reasons why patients with debilitating conditions would still want to register for a medical marijuana card.
Overview of Medical Marijuana in Montana
In 2004, Montana residents voted in favor of I 148, a ballot measure that sought to legalize medical marijuana. However, the I 148 or The Montana Medical Marijuana Act was almost repealed in 2011 had Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed HB 161. Nevertheless, the rules on medical marijuana in Montana were still restricted in the same year with the passage of SB 423 which became law without the governor’s signature.
In 2016, Montana residents voted in favor of I 182 which relaxed the rules on quantities and recipients for medical cannabis including adding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition.
You can read up on the rules here: CHAPTER 46. USE OF MARIJUANA FOR DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITIONS Part 3. Montana Medical Marijuana Act.
Montana’s medical marijuana law allows registered patients to possess up to an ounce and purchase up to 5 ounces. They may also cultivate up to 4 mature cannabis plants and 4 seedlings. The growing limit per household is 8 mature and 8 immature plants regardless if there are more than 2 patients living there.
- Admittance into hospice care in accordance with rules adopted by the department
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder
- Intractable nausea or vomiting
- Painful peripheral neuropathy
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s treating physician
Even patients under 18 afflicted with a qualifying condition that needs medical marijuana can register for the program, as long as they do so with the help of their parents or legal guardians.
The laws concerning caregivers for medical marijuana patients in Montana are different from other states. Here, caregivers are called “providers” and patients may choose to either grow for themselves or get a provider to do it for them. Providers are more like dispensaries in a way and the license and fees they pay depend on their canopy tier. A resident merely has to be at least 21 years old and must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor drug offense.
Being a provider is different from being a caregiver to a minor patient, or those who are too ill to take care of themselves. A provider merely assists in growing and dispensing medical marijuana to the patient.
Why should you get a medical marijuana card in Montana?
Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Montana, those who need marijuana for their debilitating conditions may want to register into the state’s Medical Marijuana Program to increase their possession limits since cardholders may request an exception to their monthly purchase limits. Compared to recreational growers, patients also have twice the cultivation limit. Medical marijuana is also taxed at 4% of retail sales, compared to 20% of recreational cannabis.
Also, an MMR card is the only way minor patients can legally use cannabis for their debilitating conditions.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Montana
The process of registering into Montana’s Medical Marijuana Registry Program is fairly straightforward. You can submit your application online through the Complia Industry Portal which is the state’s official MMP portal. If you are unable to create an account, contact the Medical Marijuana Program for alternate accommodations at 406-444-0596
Here are the steps you need to take to get a Montana MMCR card:
For patients and caregivers
- Go to the Complia Industry Portal and create an account. Patients, minor or adult, as well as providers can apply here.
- Make sure you have the following requirements ready for upload:
- Patient’s photo taken within the last 6 months. Follow the guidelines here on how to take a proper photo.
- A valid ID. This can be your driver’s license, a state or ard, or tribal identification card issued by a tribe within the state of Montana (ARM 37.107.105)
- A completed Physician Statement for a Debilitating Medical Condition. Use this form for minor patients.
- A completed Property Owner Permission for Patients if you wish to cultivate at home.
- In addition to valid IDs, providers need to submit a completed Property Owner Permission Form for Providers and an Applicant Rights and Consent to Fingerprint form
- Provide the necessary information and pay the registration fee using a credit card. You may save your session at any point and come back to complete it.
A registered cardholder card only costs $30 while a replacement card costs $10. New cardholder applicants will be able to print a temporary card from the Complia portal. However, you must have a physical copy of the temporary card for use.
Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Montana Medical Marijuana Card
Residents of Montana who need medical cannabis for their condition may want to get into the state’s Medical Marijuana Program if they want to higher cultivation and purchase limits. An MMJ card will allow registered patients to cultivate up to four (4) mature or immature plants at home.
Patients in Montana with at least one of the qualifying conditions below are eligible for a medical marijuana card:
Admittance into hospice care in accordance with rules adopted by the department
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms
Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder
Intractable nausea or vomiting
Painful peripheral neuropathy
Post traumatic stress disorder
Severe chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient’s treating physician
A medical marijuana card is the only way minor patients with a debilitating condition can use cannabis in Montana. It will also give qualifying patients higher purchase and cultivation limits, up to 5 ounces and 4 mature plants and 4 seedlings.
In Montana, you will be able to print a temporary card from the Complia Industry Portal even before a physical card gets sent to you.
A Montana registered cardholder card only costs $30 while a replacement card costs $10.
Medical marijuana patients in Montana may grow up to 4 mature plants and 4 seedlings at home.
Patients registered in Montana’s medical marijuana program may possess up to an ounce.
If you’re a patient in Montana who needs medical marijuana for your debilitating condition, you might want to get an MMJ card since it will increase your purchase and cultivation limits. Also, the cost of application into Montana’s Medical Marijuana Registry Program is fairly cheap, totaling at less than $100, but the medical marijuana you can buy with it will only be taxed at 4%. Furthermore, a medical marijuana card is the only way minors in Montana will be able to use cannabis for their debilitating condition.