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Law Montana

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Montana Marijuana Activists Weigh Appeal After Court Rejects Electronic Signatures For Legalization

Montana activists behind a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure are weighing an appeal after a district court dismissed their lawsuit seeking the right to collect signatures electronically amid the coronavirus pandemic.

New Approach Montana, which suspended in-person signature gathering to mitigate the spread of the virus, sued the state and alleged that laws barring digital signature collection are unconstitutional. Top officials who’ve expressed opposition to cannabis reform were quick to condemn the suit.

And on Thursday, a state district court judge rejected the group’s request for declaratory and preliminary injunctive relief, concluding that they “failed to show that the statutes…infringe on Plaintiffs’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution under the present circumstances of this case.”

“The Court finds that Plaintiffs claims do not meet the threshold for injunctive relief at this time,” Judge John Larson said in the order, which also denied New Approach Montana’s request to extend the deadline to submit signatures from June 19 to August 3.

The group is behind two cannabis proposals: One statutory initiative that would allow adults to possess and purchase cannabis from licensed retailers and another constitutional amendment initiative that would make a technical change to state law specifying that only those 21 and older would be covered by the measure.

Despite the legal setback, advocates are keeping their options open.

“A bunch of Montana cowboys have a little over a month to qualify an initiative to legalize adult use marijuana for the November 2020 ballot,” Pepper Petersen, political director of New Approach, told Marijuana Moment. “The whole world fell apart in just a month, now I reckon it’s time for us to try to fix a small piece of our broken world in the same amount of time. If anyone can do it, this bunch of cannabis cowboys can.”

Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which is helping to organize this and other state-based cannabis reform efforts around the country, also told Marijuana Moment that “New Approach Montana is considering an appeal” of the court’s order.

Attorney General Tim Fox, who had blamed activists themselves for starting petitioning relatively late prior to filing their suit, celebrated the court’s decision in a press release on Thursday.

“The District Court’s order is a victory for the rule of law and Montana’s constitution,” he said. “I am pleased with the ruling because the court’s job is to interpret laws, not to write them or suspend them.”

New Approach Montana is one of several drug policy reform campaigns that are pleading for relief from states in order to increase their chances of qualifying for ballots at a time of stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements.

In Arizona, the organizers of a legalization effort are petitioning the state Supreme Court to instruct the secretary of state to allow people to sign cannabis petitions digitally using an existing electronic system that is currently reserved for individual candidates seeking public office.

California activists for campaigns to amend the state’s legal cannabis program and legalize psilocybin mushrooms also asked for a digital petitioning option, though they haven’t taken court action.

Likewise in Washington, D.C., advocates for a measure to decriminalize psychedelics asked the mayor and local lawmakers to accept online signatures for their ballot petition.

Several other drug policy reform campaigns have been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A campaign to legalize cannabis in Missouri officially gave up its effort for 2020 last month due to signature collection being virtually impossible in the face of social distancing measures.

An effort to legalize medical cannabis in Nebraska is also facing signature gathering challenges.

In Oregon, advocates for a measure to decriminalize drug possession and a separate initiative to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes have suspended in-person campaign events amid the pandemic.

Idaho medical cannabis activists announced that they are suspending their ballot campaign, though they are still “focusing on distributing petitions through online download at IdahoCann.co and encouraging every volunteer who has downloaded a petition to get them turned in to their county clerk’s office by mail, regardless of how many signatures they have collected.”

North Dakota advocates said that they are suspending their campaign to put marijuana legalization on the November ballot due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) conceded last month that the 2020 legalization push is “effectively over” in the legislature. Coronavirus shifted priorities, and comprehensive cannabis reform seems to have proved too complicated an issue in the short-term.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
The new law does not affect the purchase limits that restrict patients to buying no more than one ounce of marijuana per day and five ounces per month, although the daily limit is currently suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.​
Dunno....this doesn't strike me as all that bad at all...over a 1/4 lb per month?

Montana Improves Access for Medical Marijuana Patients

Medical marijuana patients in Montana will gain improved access to their medicine under a state law that goes into effect next week. The measure, Senate Bill 265, eliminates a requirement under existing statute known as tethering that limits patients to using only one medicinal cannabis provider.
J.J. Thomas, the owner of The Higher Standard dispensaries in Helena, Missoula, Butte, and Dillon, told local media that the new law will give patients more choice when selecting their medicine.

“No one wants to eat at McDonald’s every day, over and over again, when a thousand different places make hamburgers,” he said. “It’s the same with medication or anything else: people want variety, they want to shop at different places, they want accessibility.”

SB 265 changes a requirement that patients use only one licensed provider to access their medicine. The law, which was passed by the state legislature last year, called for the requirement to be eliminated by June of this year. Last month, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services notified patients and providers that the change would go into effect on June 2.

Monthly Purchase Limit Still In Effect
The new law does not affect the purchase limits that restrict patients to buying no more than one ounce of marijuana per day and five ounces per month, although the daily limit is currently suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Erica Johnston, operations services branch manager for DPHHS, said implementing the necessary system upgrades had taken the agency some time.

“The biggest system challenge is getting that tracking in place that allows a provider to know how much a cardholder has purchased previous to walking in their door, without also giving that provider details of all the purchases that were made at other providers,” Johnston said. “So we want to help protect that privacy and still allow the providers the ability to check on the limits purchased.”

Medical marijuana patients are not required to make any changes and their existing identification cards will remain valid until they expire. Johnston said that she expects the change will make it easier for some patients to obtain their medicine.

“Obviously, these patients have developed relationships with their providers, and where those relationships are good, I don’t foresee those changing,” she said. “But it does allow people who are traveling, if they have to have an extended period of time where they’re spending time with family in another part of the state, they have the ability to access medicine if they need it.”

Thomas said that he believes the change is for the better.

“I truly believe that if you’ve been doing a great job all these years, and you’ve been taking care of people, there’s no reason people aren’t going to continue to shop you,” he said. “I feel like everyone’s going to be just fine, and it’s the best thing that could happen to the industry in a very long time.”
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Dunno....this doesn't strike me as all that bad at all...over a 1/4 lb per month?
While it seems excessive, I know quite a few people who consume an ounce a week. Most of them combust, however.

I don't understand why there should be limits at all. If a person wants to smoke/vape/ingest more than an ounce a week... that is their prerogative. They could be making themselves edibles (which takes quite a bit of flower) or tincture in conjunction with using it in other ways. It's not like we can't buy unlimited amounts of alcohol in a week. Or are limited in the amount of Tylenol we can buy in a certain amount of time.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
While it seems excessive,
Oh, I'm pretty sure I never said it was excessive......just the article seemed to imply that this limit needed changing as they commented that it hadn't been changed.

To me, 5 zips a month is not being parsimonious.


I don't understand why there should be limits at all.
Ah....maybe diversion?
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Montana Will Vote On Two Marijuana Legalization Measures In November, State Confirms

Montana’s secretary of state announced on Thursday that marijuana activists collected more than enough signatures to qualify two legalization measures for the November ballot.

One initiative, a statutory change, would create a system of legal cannabis access for adult-use. A separate constitutional amendment would ensure only those 21 and older can participate in the market.

If the statutory measure is approved by voters, possessing up to an ounce of cannabis would be allowed, and people could cultivate up to four plants and four seedlings at home.

The Montana Department of Revenue would be in charge of regulating the legal industry and would issue business licenses by January 1, 2022. Existing medical cannabis businesses would be first in line to enter the adult-use market.

There would be a 20 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana, while the tax on medical cannabis products would be reduced from two to one percent. Revenue from legal sales would go toward land, water and wildlife conservation programs, veteran services, substance misuse treatment, health care, local governments that allow cannabis businesses and the state general fund.

A fiscal note from the Governor’s Office of Budget and Program Planning estimates that legal cannabis retail taxes will generate $38.5 million a year by Fiscal Year 2025.

“Our research has always shown that a majority of Montanans support legalization, and now voters will have the opportunity to enact that policy, which will create jobs and generate new revenue for our state,” Pepper Petersen, a spokesperson for New Approach Montana, which organized the effort, said. “It also means that law enforcement will stop wasting time and resources arresting adults for personal marijuana possession, and instead focus on real crime.”

Under the separate amendment that also qualified for the ballot, the state constitution would be amended to clarify that a “person 18 years of age or older is an adult for all purposes, except that the legislature or the people by initiative may establish the legal age for purchasing, consuming, or possessing alcoholic beverages and marijuana.

Montana voters approved a medical cannabis legalization initiative in 2004 and later passed a 2016 expansion measure.

For the current cycle, New Approach Montana submitted their petitions for the cannabis measures in June. Last month, the group announced that data from county officials indicated they would make the ballot.

The secretary of state made that official on Thursday by updating the status of both submitted initiatives on its tracking page to say they have been “certified to appear on the November 3, 2020 General Election Ballot.”

The statutory measure required 25,468 valid signatures to qualify, while the constitutional amendment needed 50,936 valid signatures.

Activists navigated a difficult path to the ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic. After stay-at-home mandates made petitioning virtually impossible, they unsuccessfully sued for the right to collect signatures electronically and to extend the deadline for submissions. The campaign later relaunched physical canvassing efforts effort in May with social distancing protocols in place.

“This is great news for Montana voters who will now have the opportunity to enact a marijuana legalization policy that will create jobs, generate revenue and allow law enforcement to focus on real crime,” Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which helped with the signature drive, said. “New Approach Montana’s signature drive was one of the most innovative ever seen, and its success is a testament to the strong existing support among Montana voters for marijuana policy reform.”

The Montana Democratic Party adopted a platform plank endorsing marijuana legalizationin June.

Here’s a status update on other 2020 drug policy reform campaigns across the country:

A marijuana legalization measure in Arizona qualified for the November ballot this week after activists submitted 420,000 signatures.

The Washington, D.C. Board of Elections certified last week that activists submitted enough valid signatures to place a measure to decriminalize plant- and fungi-based psychedelics in the nation’s capital.

Oregon’s secretary of state confirmed last month that separate measures to legalize psilocybin therapy and decriminalize possession of all drugs while expanding treatment services will appear on the November ballot.

Organizers in Nebraska last month submitted 182,000 signatures in an attempt to put a medical marijuana measure on November’s ballot.

Idaho activists behind a medical marijuana legalization initiative were hoping to get a second wind after a federal judge said recently that the state must make accommodations for a separate ballot campaign due to signature gathering complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the other group last week, hopes are dashed.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and stay-at-home mandates, separate measures to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes qualified for South Dakota’s November ballot.

The New Jersey legislature approved putting a cannabis legalization referendum before voters as well.

And in Mississippi, activists gathered enough signatures to qualify a medical cannabis legalization initiative for the ballot—though lawmakers also approved a competing (and from advocates’ standpoint, less desirable) medical marijuana proposal that will appear alongside the campaign-backed initiative.

A campaign to legalize cannabis in Missouri officially gave up its effort for 2020 due to signature collection being virtually impossible in the face of social distancing measures.

North Dakota marijuana legalization activists are shifting focus and will seek qualification for the 2022 ballot.

Washington State activists had planned to pursue a drug decriminalization and treatment measure through the ballot, but citing concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak, they announced last month that they will be targeting the legislature instead.

Read the Montana marijuana ballot initiatives by following title link and scrolling to the bottom of the article.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"reduces the existing tax on medical cannabis from 1% to 2%. "

Fucking stoners! hahahaha


Montana Cannabis Legalization Initiatives Qualify For November Ballot



Two separate cannabis initiatives have qualified for the general election ballot in Montana, making it the sixth state in the nation that will be voting on a legalization measure in November. On Thursday, the office of Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton revealed that supporters for Initiative 190 and Constitutional Initiative 118 had collected enough signatures to qualify both measures for the ballot.
Initiative 190 would legalize the possession and sale of small amounts of marijuana for adult use and establish a regulatory system to license cannabis businesses. The measure also levies a tax of 20% on recreational marijuana and reduces the existing tax on medical cannabis from 1% to 2%. The initiative also authorizes the home cultivation of up to four mature cannabis plants and four seedlings.
Revenue from the tax on adult-use cannabis would be allocated to land, water, and wildlife conservation programs, veteran services, substance abuse treatment, long-term health care, and local governments. Proponents of the measure have estimated that it would raise $48 million in tax revenue by 2025.



Constitutional Initiative 118 would amend the Montana Constitution to allow the state legislature to set the legal age to make cannabis purchases at 21. Currently, the constitution grants all of the rights of an adult to all persons age 18 or older, except for the purchase of alcohol.
More Than Enough Signatures Collected
Petitions for both initiatives were circulated by New Approach Montana, which collected more than 130,000 signatures to put the measures on the ballot. To qualify, Initiative 190 needed approximately 25,000 verified signatures, while the constitutional initiative required about 50,000 signatures. The group reports that it spent approximately $2 million on its signature-gathering effort and other expenses related to qualifying the two initiatives for the ballot.
Pepper Petersen, a campaign spokesperson for the group, expressed optimism at the news that the legalization measures had qualified for the ballot.
“Our research has always shown that a majority of Montanans support legalization, and now voters will have the opportunity to enact that policy, which will create jobs and generate new revenue for our state,” said Petersen.
The announcement was also lauded by Matthew Schweich, the deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that backed the Montana ballot initiatives.
“This is great news for Montana voters who will now have the opportunity to enact a marijuana legalization policy that will create jobs, generate revenue and allow law enforcement to focus on real crime,” Schweich said in a press release.
Six States To Vote On Cannabis In November
Montana legalized the medicinal use of cannabis with the passage of a voter initiative in 2004, and in 2016 approved another measure expanding the program. With Thursday’s announcement, the state joins five other states that will vote on cannabis legalization ballot measures, according to information from the Marijuana Policy Project.
In addition to the Treasure State, voters in Arizona and New Jersey will vote on legalizing cannabis for use by adults. In Mississippi and Nebraska, ballots will include measures to legalize medical marijuana, while South Dakota voters will see separate initiatives to legalize both medicinal and recreational cannabis.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Anti-Marijuana Activist Pushes To Reveal Montana Legalization Campaign’s Funding Sources


Anti-marijuana activist and Billings auto dealership owner Steve Zabawa filed a complaint Thursday with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices demanding that a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group called North Fund be required to disclose its donors. North Fund, a nonprofit registered in Washington, D.C., has given nearly $5 million to New Approach Montana, the political committee that organized the upcoming vote to legalize recreational marijuana in the state on the 2020 ballot.

Zabawa’s complaint comes on the heels of Commissioner of Political Practices Jeff Mangan’s own request that North Fund reveal its funders. On September 11, Mangan determined that North Fund is not an “incidental committee”—a category that is not required to disclose its donors—but an “independent committee,” which by state law must be transparent about where its money comes from. Zabawa, who heads a group called Wrong for Montana that opposes the recreational marijuana initiative, makes the same claim in his complaint, calling North Fund “nothing more than a slush fund funneling millions of dollars into Montana and other states attempting to buy ballot issue elections.”

As his own deliberations have been superseded by an official complaint, Mangan could not comment specifically on the issue.

“The question comes down to what’s the primary purpose of this business,” Mangan said of North Fund, “and the complaint just moves it to a whole different level.”

Mangan previously gave North Fund until September 30 to reveal its donors or appeal his decision. On September 30, the group requested an appeal without disclosing its funders. In a letter prepared by two attorneys, North Fund claims it should not be reclassified as an independent committee, on the basis that, according to Montana’s 2015 anti-dark money Disclose Act, it has only incidentally supported marijuana legalization in Montana, with the majority of the group’s spending being done on other issues in other states.

North Fund’s appeal references a similar COPP complaint that Zabawa filed in 2016 against the Montana Cannabis Industry Association. That complaint claimed that MTCIA purposely obscured its funding sources in violation of state campaign finance law. Then-Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl ruled against Zabawa, determining that MTCIA was in fact an incidental committee and not required to disclose its donors.

One of the two lawyers who wrote North Fund’s September 30 reply to Mangan works for large national litigation firm Nossaman LLP. The other attorney is Jim Molloy, a former senior policy adviser to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and a co-author of Montana’s 2015 Disclose Act, which regulates disclosure of the sources of money spent on state political campaigns. Molloy also represented New Approach Montana in an unsuccessful lawsuit against the state earlier this year that sought to allow the group to gather ballot-qualifying signatures electronically in light of signature-gathering restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New Approach Montana Political Director Pepper Petersen said at the time that Molloy was hired to help draft the group’s ballot initiatives due to his expertise in Montana constitutional law.

As assistant attorney general, Molloy defended Montana’s 2011 legislative ban on the sale of medical marijuana against a lawsuit by the MTCIA. The ban was overturned, but the courts later allowed a three-patient limit for medical marijuana providers to become law in 2016, effectively repealing the state’s medical marijuana program. Molloy returned to private practice earlier that year.

Petersen said in a statement Thursday that New Approach Montana is aware of the complaint against North Fund, and that any questions regarding the group should be directed to its spokesperson. Asked to clarify the relationship between New Approach Montana and North Fund, considering that they share an attorney, Petersen said, “North Fund is a donor to our effort and we’re grateful for their support.”

North Fund spokesperson Naomi Seligman said Thursday that the group is reviewing Mangan’s deliberation and Zabawa’s complaint.
 

VaporizerWizard

Stage 4 VAS
I am a MMJ patient in Montana so this is extra relevant to me. So far there has been very minimal polling but the one poll I did see shows that this has a decent chance of passing. Overall its sort of a recreational light approach, with lowish limits on plant numbers and dried cannabis allowed, but it will reduce the taxes on the MMJ side slightly and it should still be a huge step forward in the right direction. Keep your fingers crossed and make sure you get out and vote!
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Voters Poised To Legalize Marijuana, New Poll Shows


Montana voters seem poised to approve a pair of marijuana legalization initiatives next month, according to a new poll.

Asked about legal cannabis measures that will appear on their ballots, 49 percent of likely voters said they will vote for the reform while 39 percent said they would oppose it. What remains to be seen is where the remaining 10 percent of undecided voters will land on the question. (An additional two percent of respondents said they will skip the cannabis measures when voting.)

The survey asked a simplified version of what voters will see on Election Day. Rather than ask about both measures—one statutory proposal to legalize and a separate constitutional amendment to codify that only those 21 and older can access the market—the question reads: “The state ballot will ask about legalizing recreational marijuana in Montana. Will you vote to support or oppose legalization?”

As is typical with cannabis polling, more Democrats (70 percent) are in favor of the policy change compared to Republicans (27 percent). Fifty-nine percent of independents said they favor legalization.

Screen-Shot-2020-10-14-at-9.01.01-AM.png


The results also show that legalization is supported by most age groups, except those 60 and over, with voters aged 18 to 29 backing it by a near than three-to-one margin.

Screen-Shot-2020-10-14-at-9.01.07-AM.png


“The fate of marijuana legalization comes down to three factors: how the ‘don’t know’ respondents split, independent voters, and the presence of younger voters at the polls,” analysts at Montana State University (MSU) said. “Right now, 49 percent of respondents overall indicate they will vote to legalize—a 10-point lead over those indicating they will not.”

That said, the pro-legalization side has its work cut out to win over those voters who are still undecided by the time Election Day rolls around.

“Typically, the status quo position is advantaged in referendums, which would be no legalization,” they said. “With a high voter turnout, Montana will likely legalize marijuana, assuming voters understand that both initiatives must pass and vote accordingly.”

The analysis also noted that the legalization initiatives could attract younger voters to the polls, which could benefit Democratic candidates who also appear on the ballot.

“I think it is important to think about a ballot as a complete organic entity,” David Parker, a political science professor at MSU, said. “Young voters strongly are in favor of the measure, and they tend to be Democratic leaning.”

The poll—which involved responses from 1,787 Montanans from September 14 to October 2—is a good sign for New Approach Montana, the campaign behind the reform measures. But it also underscores the need to maintain their current support while convincing at least some of those outstanding undecided voters to get on board.

The survey also asked about gubernatorial, Senate and House races in the state, as well as the presidential campaign, and MSU said that of all the ballot-related questions in the poll, the response to the cannabis question was the only one outside the +/-3.9 percentage point margin of error.

For residents who value environmental conservationism, a recent endorsement of the legalization initiatives by a coalition of groups committed to that issue could be a motivating factor.

The state—widely known for its public lands and parks that attract tourists from across the country—would see a significant influx of revenue for environmental conservation programs from cannabis taxes if the legalization measure passes in November. Half of the public revenue from marijuana sales would be earmarked for such purposes.

If the statutory measure is approved by voters, possessing up to an ounce of cannabis would be allowed, and people could cultivate up to four plants and four seedlings at home.

The Montana Department of Revenue would be in charge of regulating the legal industry and would issue business licenses by January 1, 2022. Existing medical cannabis businesses would be first in line to enter the adult-use market.

There would be a 20 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana, while the tax on medical cannabis products would be reduced from two to one percent. Besides public lands funding, those tax dollars would also go toward veteran services, substance misuse treatment, health care, local governments that allow cannabis businesses and the state general fund.

Montana voters approved a medical cannabis legalization initiative in 2004 and later passed a 2016 expansion measure.

For the current cycle, New Approach Montana submitted their petitions for the cannabis initiatives in June. That came after they initially suspended signature gathering activities amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which they later relaunched with social distancing measures in place.

In July, the group announced that data from county officials indicated they would make the ballot. And in August, state officials officially qualified the measures.

The Montana Democratic Party adopted a platform plank endorsing marijuana legalization in June.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Marijuana Legalization Initiative Faces Last-Minute Legal Challenge In State Supreme Court


A campaign to legalize marijuana in Montana is facing a last-minute legal challenge, even as residents are already participating in early in-person voting and submitting mail-in ballots that feature a pair of cannabis reform initiatives.

Prohibitionists have retained a law firm that’s preparing a lawsuit to be filed before the state Supreme Court against the statutory adult-use legalization measure, arguing that it violates state law by including provisions that would appropriate funds to specific programs. But New Approach Montana, the group behind the initiative, says their opponents “are simply trying to cause confusion.”

The proposal in question would establish a legal cannabis market for adults in the state, while a separate constitutional amendment that’s also on the ballot would stipulate that only those 21 and older could enter the market. Only the former measure is being targeted by the soon-to-be-filed case.

“We have prepared this lawsuit and we are in the process of filing it,” Steve Zabawa of Wrong for Montana said during a press call, KGVO reported. “Brian Thompson at BKBH is our attorney, and we’re going to ask that the Supreme Court of Montana remove this thing because it is a flawed initiative.”

He cited Article III, Section IV of the state constitution, which says citizens “may enact laws by initiative on all matters except appropriations of money and local or special laws.”

Under the legalization initiative, half of the public revenue generated from marijuana sales would go toward environmental conservation programs—a provision that earned the campaign key endorsements last month.

For what it’s worth, a 2018 ballot measure that made it on the ballot but was rejected by voters would have increased tobacco taxes and used revenue to fund health programs. But after opponents sent a letter to the secretary of state arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the same appropriations statute, the official said he would not be removing it. The issue did not reach the courts, however.

“I hope next week that the Montana Supreme Court sets a date to hear it and gets it out to their seven justices and then they come to they read through it and then do their research and then throw the initiative off the ballot,” Zabawa told the radio station. “That’s best case for us.”

Of course, the initiative is already on the ballot and voting has started, so presumably if the court sided with the plaintiffs, the votes simply wouldn’t be counted or implementation would be prevented. It is also possible that the court could rule that monies raised by legal cannabis sales under the initiative would simply into the state’s general fund instead of toward the specific programs delineated in its current text.

In addition to the cannabis revenue earmarked for land, water and wildlife conservation programs, the proposal aims to send funds toward veteran services, substance misuse treatment, health care and local governments, with the rest already being pegged to the general fund.

Zabawa, of Wrong for Montana, also recently filed a complaint with state regulators asking that a nonprofit organization that contributed to the legalization campaign be forced to disclose its donors.

Pepper Peterson of New Approach Montana told Marijuana Moment that the “people of Montana will see right through [the lawsuit], as they continue to vote Yes on CI-118 and I-190.”

“They know that legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and over will generate $236 million in new revenue over the next six years, expand access to medical marijuana for patients including veterans, and stop wasting law enforcement time and resources arresting Montanans for marijuana possession,” he said. “These initiatives, which were filed in January, have already been vetted and approved by the Montana attorney general. They are well written and closely follow existing Montana law.”

“The opposition campaign has been spreading misinformation across Montana for weeks, and this lawsuit announcement is just the latest chapter,” he said.

Thompson, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, told Marijuana Moment in a brief phone interview that the complaint would be filed “in the near future,” though he declined to give an exact timeline or share a copy of the draft filing.

If the challenge goes through and the legalization initiative is invalidated, that would mark the second time this election cycle that citizen-led reform efforts have been killed by the courts.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled last month that a measure to legalize medical cannabis that had qualified for the November ballot could not proceed because it violated the state’s single-subject rule for ballot initiatives.

Should the Montana campaign prevail against the legal challenge, however, recent polling indicates that voters are positioned to approve it. Forty-nine percent of respondents in a survey released this week said they support the policy change, with 39 percent opposed and 10 percent remaining undecided.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Marijuana Ballot Measure


The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a last-minute legal challenge to block a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana sales to Montanans ages 21 and up. The decision came two days after the group "‘Wrong for Montana" filed the complaint.

Initiative 190 establishes a 20-percent tax on non-medical cannabis sales and directs that money to the general fund and other programs.

Opponents argue it violates the state constitution because initiatives aren’t allowed to appropriate funds.

Montana’s Supreme Court Justices didn’t rule on the merits of the argument, saying only it failed to show the necessary urgency to be heard at that level. Justices suggested plaintiffs first take it to the district court.

Wrong for Montana’s Steve Zabawa says, "It’s not that they don’t want to rule on it, they just said, ‘It’s not the right time – go take it down to district court, make a decision and then you can bring it to us at that time.'"

Zabawa tells Montana Public Radio he expects the complaint would be filed at the district court level by the end of the day Thursday.

The Montana Supreme Court’s decision didn’t surprise Dave Lewis. Lewis is policy adviser for New Approach Montana, the group working to legalize recreational marijuana. New Approach dismisses the complaint as a frivolous longshot.

"This is kind of an old tactic to file lawsuits to try to confuse voters," Lewis says. "It’s been done before and will be done in the future. I’m not surprised."

With less than two weeks until Election Day, nearly 290,000 Montanans had cast their votes as of Wednesday.

Absentee ballots were sent out October 9. Election Day is Nov. 3.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure Has Solid Lead In New Poll


Montana voters appear poised to approve a proposal to legalize marijuana next week, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by Montana State University (MSU) Billings, found that 54 percent of likely voters plan to support legal cannabis on the ballot, while 38 percent are opposed. Seven percent remain undecided.

There is a stark partisan divide on the measure, with 77 percent of Democrats in favor, and only 31 percent of Republicans agreeing. Sixty-three percent of independents back the reform.

Ending marijuana prohibition has majority support among both men and women in the state, and from voter groups under the age of 65. Those older than that are narrowly divided on legalizing cannabis.

Screen-Shot-2020-10-28-at-5.56.10-PM.png

Via Montana State University Billings

The poll involved interviews with 546 likely voters, conducted from October 19 to 24, and has a margin of error of 4.2 percent.

A separate survey released earlier this month showed the measure leading, but without outright majority support. That poll, conducted by a separate team at MSU, found that Montana voters support marijuana legalization, 49 percent to 39 percent.

The new numbers showing continued voter backing for marijuana legalization comes a week after the state Supreme Court rejected a request to block the initiative. The case was filed by opponents who argued that the measure violates the state Constitution by appropriating funds to specific programs.

Under the proposal, half of the public revenue generated from marijuana sales would go toward environmental conservation programs—a provision that earned the campaign key endorsements last month.

In addition to the cannabis revenue earmarked for land, water and wildlife conservation programs, the proposal aims to send funds toward veteran services, substance misuse treatment, health care and local governments, with the rest being pegged to the general fund.

The state Supreme Court didn’t rule on the merits of the challenge but said that opponents needed to take up the issue in lower courts first, which they said they plan to do.

Also this month, a Montana-based federal prosecutor appointed by President Trump sent a press release highlighting his concerns that legalizing cannabis in the state could cause public health and safety harms.

Montana voters will actually see two cannabis questions on their ballots. A statutory measure to legalize marijuana for adult use would allow adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants and four seedlings at home, while a separate constitutional amendment stipulates that only those 21 and older could access the market.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

State Of Montana Launches Online Hemp Marketplace To Connect Buyers And Sellers


Say you’re a Montana farmer who has planted acres of industrial hemp. As harvest nears, you’re looking to offload it. Where do you go to find a buyer?

Montana’s Department of Agriculture says it has the answer.

The state this week announced the launch of an online “Hemp Marketplace,” unveiling an online portal meant to connect the hemp farmers with buyers in search of seeds, fiber and derivatives such as cannabidiol, or CBD.

“The Hemp Marketplace concept originated from the same idea as the department’s Hay Hotline,” the Agriculture Department says on its website, “only instead of hay and pasture, the online tool connects buyers and sellers of hemp and hemp derivatives.”

Listings are free of charge.



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Montana Department of Agriculture

Montana farmers have embraced industrial hemp since the state legalized its production under a federal pilot program. The first legal crop was planted in 2017, and in recent years the state has led the country in terms of space dedicated to the plant. In 2018, for example, licensed farmers in Montana grew more acreage of hemp than any other U.S. state. While other states have since eclipsed the state’s hemp production—the crop became broadly federally legal through the 2018 Farm Bill—Montana remains an industry leader.

But to make revenue, farmers have to be able to sell their crop. That’s where the new hemp marketplace comes in. The online portal is essentially a sophisticated bulletin board for buyers and sellers, split into “Hemp for Sale” and “Hemp to Buy” categories.

“With hemp being a relatively new crop grown in Montana, the department recognizes that these markets are still developing,” Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas said in a statement. “The Hemp Marketplace was designed to help facilitate connections between buyers and sellers. I’m looking forward to seeing how the marketplace will continue to advance the industry.”

Listings include what type of products are on offer (or being sought), whether a given crop is organic and even whether laboratory testing data is available. The portal also organizes products into one of four varieties based on whether the hemp seeds have been certified by regulators. None of the products may contain more than 0.3 percent THC—the upper limit for what qualifies as hemp under both state and federal law.

Meanwhile, Montana voters are set to decide on Tuesday whether the state will legalize hemp’s more infamous cousin, high-THC marijuana. According to a poll released this week, passage looks likely: The survey, conducted by Montana State University at Billings, found that 54 percent of likely voters plan to support legal cannabis on the ballot. Another 38 percent said they were opposed, while 7 percent remained undecided.

At the federal level, officials at the Drug Enforcement Administration are still working to revise rules around marijuana and hemp to reflect Congress’s move to legalize hemp broadly in 2018. While the public comment on the proposals closed earlier this month, nine members of Congress cautioned the agency against adopting its proposed changes, warning some could put hemp producers at risk of criminal liability. Already a number of arrests and seizures have been made by law enforcement officers confused whether products were legal hemp or illicit marijuana.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), meanwhile, has faced separate criticism over its own proposed hemp rules, though it has been more proactive in addressing them. Following significant pushback from the industry over certain regulations it views as excessively restrictive, the agency reopened a public comment period, which closed again this month.

USDA is also planning to distribute a national survey to gain insights from thousands of hemp businesses that could inform its approach to regulating the market.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Voters Approve Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure


Montana voters have approved a marijuana legalization initiative, according to a projection by NBC News. A separate measure concerning age limits for the regulated cannabis market has yet to be formally called, but also holds a sizable lead.

MT Initiative 190: Legalize Marijuana​

Last updated: 11/4/2020, 6:31:05 AM



CANDIDATEVOTESPERCENT
Yes303,89256.83%
No230,85443.17%
534,746 votes counted. Estimated >99% in.


MT Constitutional Initiative 118: Set Legal Age For Marijuana At 21​

Last updated: 11/4/2020, 6:30:05 AM



CANDIDATEVOTESPERCENT
Yes303,98657.98%
No220,26842.02%
524,254 votes counted. Estimated >99% in.

Results tracker sponsored by ETFMG | MJ.

The main statutory reform measure will establish a legal system of marijuana production and sales for adults in the state, while the separate constitutional amendment would stipulate that only those 21 and older can participate in the market.

“This result illustrates that support for adult-use marijuana legalization extends across geographic and demographic lines,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “Marijuana legalization is not exclusively a ‘blue’ state issue, but an issue that is supported by a majority of all Americans—regardless of party politics.”

Polling ahead of the election indicated the reform was on its way to passage, with 54 percent of likely voters saying in a survey released last month that they planned to support legal cannabis on the ballot. That said, a separate October poll showed the measure leading, but without outright majority support. That survey found that Montana voters support marijuana legalization, 49 percent to 39 percent.

Opponents of the legalization attempted to quash the proposal with a lawsuit just before Election Day. However, the state Supreme Court rejected a request to block the initiative. The case argued that the measure violates the state Constitution by appropriating funds to specific programs.

Under the proposal, half of the public revenue generated from marijuana sales will go toward environmental conservation programs—a provision that earned the campaign key endorsements last month.

In addition to the cannabis revenue earmarked for land, water and wildlife conservation programs, the measure will send funds toward veteran services, substance misuse treatment, health care and local governments, with the rest being pegged to the general fund.

The top state court didn’t rule on the merits of the challenge but said that opponents needed to take up the issue in lower courts first, which they said they planned to do.

Also last month, a Montana-based federal prosecutor appointed by President Trump sent a press release highlighting his concerns that legalizing cannabis in the state could cause public health and safety harms.

Earlier in the year, as the coronavirus pandemic surged, advocates suspended in-person signature gathering and sought approval from the state to petition electronically. Top officials who expressed opposition to cannabis reform were quick to condemn the suit, and after the activists filed a lawsuit seeking relief in district court, the request was rejected in May. The campaign later resumed physical signature gathering but with social distancing measures and safety protocols in place.

Adults will be able to use, possess and cultivate cannabis starting January 1, 2021 under the approved measure. That same day, regulators could begin accepting license applications for marijuana retailers.

“This is a great day for Montana,” Marijuana Policy Project Deputy Director Matthew Schweich said. “This victory further proves how widespread the support for marijuana policy reform is across the United States. Montana will now join the growing number of states that are proving that replacing prohibition with a system of legalization and regulation is the policy decision that best serves the interests of public health and safety.”

Marijuana Moment is following multiple drug policy reform votes this Election Day. Check here for the latest.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Marijuana Opponents File New Lawsuit To Overturn Legalization Vote


Montana voters overwhelmingly approved a pair of marijuana legalization ballot measures on Tuesday—but opponents are now attempting to invalidate the will of residents, filing a new lawsuit that argues the main reform measure that passed is unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs argue that the voter-approved statutory proposal unlawfully appropriates funds, violating a portion of the state Constitution that prohibits such activity from being included in a citizen initiative. The state Supreme Court declined to take the case last month, but it did not rule on the merits. Instead, it said the filers failed to establish the urgency needed to skip the lower court adjudication process.

They left the door open to pursuing the case in district and appeals court, however, and the plaintiffs went through with the option, as they previously told Marijuana Moment they would.

The legalization measure will establish a cannabis market for adult consumers, the suit states, “with resulting revenues to be earmarked and credited to specified programs and agencies for specified uses.”

Because it contains those provisions, the proposal “is an appropriation of money by initiative in violation of state statute,” the suit, filed on Wednesday, states. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs asked the court to deem the initiative “unconstitutional,” “void in its entirety” and “unenforceable.”

Under the proposal, half of the public revenue generated from marijuana sales will go toward environmental conservation programs—a provision that earned the campaign key endorsements in September. The measure will also send funds toward veteran services, drug treatment, health care and local governments, with the rest flowing to the general fund.

Last month, a state lawmaker announced plans to request that a bill be introduced to repeal the legalization measure, but he set aside those plans this week following the strong vote in favor of the policy change. As of Friday afternoon’s vote tallying, the initiative is ahead by a 57-43 percent margin.

“The only branch of government in this state dumb enough to overturn citizens’ initiative is the [state] Supreme Court, which has done it repeatedly,” the lawmaker, Rep. Derek Skees (R), said on Wednesday.

Montana was one of five states that legalized marijuana in some form this week, along with Arizona, New Jersey, Mississippi and South Dakota.

Nationwide, voters passed every single major cannabis and drug policy ballot measure across the country this election, including decriminalization of psychedelic plants and fungi in Washington, DC and decriminalization of all drugs in Oregon, as well as a separate measure in that state to legalize psilocybin therapy.

Beyond the statutory measure to establish a legal cannabis market, Montanans also passed a constitutional amendment stipulating that only adults 21 and older can participate in the program. That initiative was not challenged in the opponents’ lawsuit.

Read the latest legal challenge against the Montana marijuana legalization initiative by following title link and scrolling to the bottom of the article.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Major Funder Of Montana Marijuana Legalization Initiative Could Be Prosecuted For Campaign Finance Violations


An organization that contributed millions of dollars to the campaign behind Montana’s successful marijuana legalization ballot initiative is facing potential prosecution following an investigation into its refusal to reveal the names of its own donors.

North Fund, which registered as an incidental political committee in the state, put $4,709,520 toward the reform measure. But an anti-legalization activist filed a complaint prior to the November vote alleging that the group is actually an independent committee that is required to disclose information about where its funds come from.

At issue is whether the group exists mainly to influence elections.

An independent committee is defined as having “the primary purpose of supporting or opposing candidates or ballot issues but is neither a ballot issue nor a political party political committee.” Meanwhile, an incidental political committee is one “that does not have the primary purpose of supporting or opposing candidates or ballot issues.”

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP) filed a formal referral for prosecution against the group on Monday. COPP claims that North Fund is improperly registered based on the extent to which its funds have been used for political purposes, and they want the Lewis and Clark County attorney to consider bringing a case against the group.

In its new filing, COPP said that “sufficient evidence of a campaign practice violation exists,” necessitating the disclosure of contributions, registering as an independent committee and a possible fine. It also asserts that the failure to disclose sources of funding “cannot generally be excused by oversight or ignorance.”

“Because there is a finding of violation and a determination that de minimis and excusable neglect theories are not applicable to the above Sufficiency Findings, a civil fine is justified,” COPP said. “Because of the nature of the violation, this matter is referred to the County Attorney of Lewis and Clark County for his consideration as to prosecution.”

A North Fund spokesperson declined to comment to Marijuana Moment, stating that it does not weigh in “on ongoing legal matters.”

If the county prosecutor declines the case, the commissioner retains the right to seek legal action in Montana’s criminal courts. It is also possible that the dispute could be settled with a “payment of a negotiated fine,” the filing states.

“In setting that fine the Commissioner will consider matters affecting mitigation, including the cooperation in correcting the issue when the matter was raised in the Complaint,” it continues.

It’s unclear what, if anything, a campaign finance violation finding would mean for the voter-approved legalization initiative. New Approach Montana, the group behind the measure, has expressed gratitude for North Fund’s contributions but is not directly linked to the committee, which has also financially supported other progressive causes in states across the country.

In addition to the campaign donations, New Approach Montana also separately benefited from in-kind contributions that North Fund made to support polling and consulting on the legalization measure.

Marijuana Moment reached out to New Approach Montana for comment, but a representative did not immediately respond.

The legalization campaign has faced additional headaches this year, as well.

The same person behind the campaign finance complaint, auto dealership owner Steve Zabawa, is separately attempting to invalidate the will of voters with a lawsuit he filed last month that argues the adult-use legalization measure is unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs argued that the voter-approved statutory proposal unlawfully appropriates funds, violating a portion of the state Constitution that prohibits such activity from being included in a citizen initiative. The state Supreme Court declined to take the case in October, but it did not rule on the merits. Instead, it said the filers failed to establish the urgency needed to skip the lower court adjudication process, which they are now pursuing.

Earlier, the coronavirus pandemic created separate challenges for the reform campaign, forcing activists to temporarily suspend in-person signature gathering. While they requested approval to collect signatures electronically—ultimately filing suit in district court to get the relief—it was rejected. The campaign later resumed physical signature gathering but with social distancing measures and safety protocols in place.

Read the COPP filing on the North Fund committee by following title link and scrolling to the bottom of the article.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Lawmakers Reject Funding To Implement Voter-Approved Marijuana Legalization Program


Montana lawmakers have rejected a request from the state’s Department of Revenue for money to fund the the voter-approved marijuana legalization program, a move that threatens to delay the launch of legal cannabis sales and slow the inflow of tax revenue to state coffers. Meanwhile, the governor is proposing to shift eventual tax revenue from sales to programs that are different than the ones spelled out in the initiative that voters approved in November.

The ballot measure passed by a roughly 57–43 percent margin. Under its provisions, the state officials are supposed to begin accepting marijuana business license applications by January 2022, with the first licensed sales expected to begin later that year or in early 2023.

To oversee the state’s marijuana licensing and regulatory system, Department of Revenue officials had requested $1.35 million, which, according to a January 5 memo from the department, would pay to hire 20 staffers and cover administrative costs, such as office space and equipment.

On Wednesday, however, the House Appropriations Committee denied that request, voting 23–2 to adopt an amendment that eliminates the program funding, which had been included in a House spending bill introduced last month.

Meanwhile, the provisions of the ballot measure to legalize personal marijuana possession and home cultivation took effect on January 1.

Bill Mercer (R), a former U.S. attorney, introduced the amendment to gut the regulatory funding, criticizing the state’s request “a huge tranche of money.”

“I think the challenge for us is there are a number of different ideas people are beginning to think through in terms of how we need to take what the voter approved and decide how that’s actually going to work in terms of public policy,” Mercer said, according to The Missoulian.

Kurt Alme, budget director for newly elected Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), reportedly said earlier in the week that the money was a “needed” expense in order for the state to meet marijuana deadlines laid out in the voter-approved marijuana legalization initiative.

Mercer, however, said he wanted more time to think about costs, noting that the state voter guide ahead of November’s election didn’t say anything about the marijuana measure “expanding state government.”

Legalization in Montana is expected to bring in far more than the $1.35 million in oversight costs. In the months leading up to the election, economists at the University of Montana estimated that a licensed marijuana industry could create $52 million in annual tax revenue once the market is up and running.

Under the ballot measure, half of that revenue would fund environmental conservation programs, with smaller portions going to veterans services, health care, local governments and the state’s general fund.

But under a budget proposal for the 2023 biennium unveiled by Gianforte on Thursday, millions of dollars in marijuana revenue would be directed toward expanding drug treatment services. Combined with money from a tobacco-related settlement, the plan would put $23.5 million per year into “substance abuse prevention and treatment programs,” the governor’s office said.

At a press conference on Thursday, Gianforte said he plans to “recognize the voters’ wishes” in passing legalization, but then explained his decision to spend the resulting funds differently than under the provisions of the ballot measure.

“I believe that our Constitution reserves appropriation of funds to the state legislature,” he said. “What we are requesting in this budget is that revenues from the legalization of marijuana be prioritized for two things. One is addiction recovery, and secondly, economic development. So that is different than what was in the initiative, but that right is reserved to the legislature. We’re asking them to prioritize those two things with any funds that are raised from the legalization of marijuana.”

A spokesperson for the Revenue Department, for its part, told The Missoulian this week that officials are “committed to implementing the laws that are passed by the Legislature.”

Meanwhile, in nearby South Dakota, where voters also legalized marijuana at the ballot box in November, officials have requested more than $4 million to get that state’s industry up and running. Legalization there has been projected to bring South Dakota $10.7 million in tax revenue during the 2022 budget year, rising to more than $29 million in fiscal 2024.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has been critical of voters’ decision to legalize, calling it “the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities” and saying, “I’ve never met anyone who got smarter from smoking pot.” Noem’s budget proposal last month contained $136,000 over three years to cover staffing and administrative costs related to cannabis—a little over three percent of what officials now say they need.

“This funding would go toward staff, technology, consultants and other costs, until revenues from the program are enough to sustain it,” Noem said. “But there will also be several other collateral costs, like safety, training and enforcement, among many others.”

Meanwhile, opponents to legalization in both Montana and South Dakota have filed lawsuits challenging the voter-approved laws on procedural grounds.

The same person behind the Montana lawsuit, auto dealership owner Steve Zabawa, also filed a campaign finance complaint against a major funder of the legalization effort, the advocacy group North Fund, which contributed more than $4.7 million to the campaign.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Montana Governor’s Plan For Marijuana Tax To Fund Drug Treatment Departs From Voter-Approved Initiative


The governor of Montana said on Thursday that he wants marijuana tax revenue to fund drug treatment as the state grapples with the consequences of substance misuse. But that’s not how those dollars were designed to be appropriated when voters approved a legalization initiative in November.

In his first State of the State address, Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) spoke at length about how the misuse of meth has overstrained the state’s child services, treatment programs and criminal justice system. He laid partial blame on a lack of resources and said that tax dollars that come once Montana’s cannabis legalization measure is implemented should fill those gaps.

“Part of the foundation of the American Dream is safe communities where we live and work and where our kids go to school. But our state faces a grave threat to our safety: drug use, particularly meth,” he said. “There is no silver bullet, but there are steps we can take to confront it.”

“My budget begins to take some of those steps. It will make investments. Let me be clear: tax revenues from the sale of recreational marijuana should go to confronting the epidemic of addiction in Montana,” Gianforte said, drawing applause from members of the joint session who attended his speech.

The governor said cannabis revenue—as well as tobacco tax settlement money—should be put into the state’s Healing and Ending Addiction through Recovery and Treatment (HEART) Fund, which will “provide a full continuum of substance prevention and treatment programs for our communities.”

“Under our current system, there are gaps in coverage that reduce effectiveness,” he said. “In some communities there are no coordinated prevention programs. In other communities, there are gaps in meth treatment. In some communities, there’s a lack of local recovery support for someone leaving treatment who wants to stay clean sober and healthy. We must close these glaring gaps, and the HEART fund will do that.”

While voters approved an adult-use legalization initiative in November, implementation has been off to a rocky start, with lawmakers voting earlier this month to reject a request from the state’s Department of Revenue for money to fund the launch of the program.

Adults are allowed to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use since those provisions took effect on January 1, but creating the infrastructure for retail sales has proved challenging.

Economists have projected that Montana stands to bring in $52 million annually in cannabis tax dollars once the system is up and running. The ballot measure calls for half of that revenue to fund environmental conservation programs, with smaller portions going to veterans services, health care, local governments and the state’s general fund.

That’s not the governor’s vision, however. He outlined his plan to use marijuana revenue to fund substance prevention and treatment in a budget request he released at the beginning of the month. It stipulates that $23.5 million in cannabis taxes and the tobacco-related settlement should go to treatment each year.

At a press conference earlier this month, Gianforte said he plans to “recognize the voters’ wishes” in passing legalization, but then explained his decision to spend the resulting funds differently than under the provisions of the ballot measure.

“What we are requesting in this budget is that revenues from the legalization of marijuana be prioritized for two things. One is addiction recovery, and secondly, economic development. So that is different than what was in the initiative, but that right is reserved to the legislature. We’re asking them to prioritize those two things with any funds that are raised from the legalization of marijuana.”

Another barrier to implementation for adult-use legalization is playing out in the courts. Opponents have filed lawsuits contesting the voter-approved initiative for procedural reasons, arguing that its allocation of revenue violates the state Constitution.

A similar situation is taking place in neighboring South Dakota, where voters passed their own cannabis reform measures in November but where opponents are challenging legalization in the courts.

The person behind the Montana suit, auto dealership owner Steve Zabawa, also filed a campaign finance complaint against a major funder of the legalization effort, the advocacy group North Fund, which contributed more than $4.7 million to the campaign.
 

arb

Semi shaved ape
We voted on a clear,easy to grasp bill.
The legislature has already stolen the money while not funding the measure.
So yes we have legal recreational cannabis yes we can grow 4 small and 4 large plants.
No sales allowed so we are accepting "donations" of $100.00 per ounce for flower and $20.00 per gram of rosin.
The 20% sales tax is not in effect as no sales are allowed.......... fucking idiots.
CSC-0493.jpg
 

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