How to Open a Dispensary in Montana

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When medical cannabis was first legalized in Montana in 2004, there were no provisions for medical dispensaries. This changed when a new Senate bill was passed, opening the Montana medical cannabis market for prospective business owners.

Retail businesses will be licensed as Marijuana Infused Products Providers (or MIPPs). The license application window is open now, and the state has not set a deadline as of yet. Let’s take a look at the requirements for starting a marijuana dispensary in Montana.

Legalization in Montana

Initiative 148 legalized medical cannabis in November of 2004 by 62% to 38%. This law also annulled criminal prosecution for medical cannabis use that was authorized by physicians. Ownership of up to six cannabis plants is permitted for each individual patient’s homegrow. The law does not take into account a state-regulated dispensary system.

When was cannabis made legal

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Under the new Senate Bill 033 directions signed by the governor, as of last May, Montana is open for medical cannabis businesses. The regulations of this measure have provisions for medical cannabis dispensaries as well as testing facilities.

For now, the time frame is open for applications for dispensaries and testing offices. The state has not set a due date for closing the current window.

Number of Dispensaries in Montana

There currently is no limit to the cannabis business licenses allowed in the state, and there are no licenses issued as of yet. On the other hand, old dispensaries were allowed to reopen via court order. There are over 100 caretakers with less than 3 patients still operating in the state. According to Montana’s medical cannabis registry: as of February 2017 over 500 providers had at least one patient whom they were providing medical cannabis.

What is the Cannabis Market in Montana Worth?

Medical cannabis sales in 2016 have reached 19.6 million dollars. Profits are expected to rise to 58 milion by 2021. The cannabis industry in Montana is thriving and looks to only get bigger and better

How much money is there in the dispensary market

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Licensing and Financial Requirements

In order to be considered for a cannabis business license in Montana, you must pass a criminal background check and be able to provide proof that you are a resident of Montana.

Providers serving a limited amount of patients will pay smaller fees than the larger ones. Licensing fees may not exceed one thousand for 10 or fewer registered cardholders or five thousand for more than 10 registered cardholders. A provider of both cannabis and cannabis-infused products only needs one license. License fees for testing labs may not exceed 12 hundred dollars.

Medical cannabis provider licenses in Montana are of course subjected to local laws. Dispensaries may be limited or banned by different municipalities.

What is My Timeframe?

Opening a dispensary in Montana is a shorter process than it is in other states. Montana dispensaries work with fewer patients than other dispensaries, so it should only take a few months, where it would normally take more than a year in other states.

 Consulting Companies

These consulting companies help with state licensing requirements and applications, as well as help you find the resources to run and stock your dispensary.


1 Comment

  1. Bonita Ann Burton on

    I used to be a MM caregiver for up to 10 patients before 2011. I have been a MM card holder for little under 10 years now in MT. I wish to become a small dispensary for 1-10 patients and would like some information on how I go about this process please.

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