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Running a retail cannabis business can be taxing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Any small business requires a level of professionalism, but a cannabis business is unique in that the laws of each state, county, and even city differ across the U.S.
Without a consensus, even a seasoned pro in one state will still have to study up on other states, and even once you get the hang of a state’s laws, they can quickly change at any given election. Here’s everything you need to know about operating a compliant cannabis business in Montana, and the state’s cannabis laws.
Yes, medical marijuana was legalized in 2004 by the Montana Medical Marijuana Act. In 2016, I-182 passed, allowing providers to serve more than three patients. Revised rules were finalized by SB333 in April 2018.
Licenses are issued by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. There are four licenses available: Provider, Infused Provider, Dispensary, and Testing Laboratory. You must adhere to the guidelines of your specific license.
An online application is available in the state’s Complia system. It will walk you through the full application process, including any supporting documentation and registration fees. Allow up to 30 days for a response (approval or denial) to your application.
Cost varies by business size. A provider with up to 10 registered cardholders pays $1000. Providers with 11-49 registered cardholders pay $2,500 and providers with 50 or more pay $5,000.
Yes – the fees above are annual fees.
A marijuana provider license is needed to sell medical marijuana in Montana. Recreational cannabis is not legal in Montana at this time.
Retail licenses are not available in Montana.
Nothing is reported as of yet. It’s best to check with your local city and state government for requirements prior to applying for a state license.
Each city is different, so check with local legislators. There are no statewide rules regarding cannabis events, except that public consumption is forbidden. Montana Norml regularly holds cannabis events.
The location of your cannabis events determines which license you’ll need to pursue. If you’re attending an event like a High Times Cannabis Cup, you’re actually a vendor at that event.
Holding your own offsite events puts you in a High Times position where you need to file the proper city and county licenses. Work with the venue to ensure this is completed in a timely manner.
Yes, you can hold more than one license of any type. You can hold events on your premises, host offsite events, or attend offsite events proudly representing your business.
Reading, understanding, and consistently applying Montana state cannabis regulations is essential. During the application process, your entire organization will be tested on compliance competency.
Also track everything. Record every interaction. Have every dollar, plant, and product tracked from seed to sale. A solid POS that can automatically interface with the state’s tracking system is only the start of what you’ll need to stay compliant.
Required cannabis business security measures will cost at least $100,000. Video surveillance, security lighting, transportation and waste disposal processes, platforms, and procedures need to be in place from day one.
Cloud video data storage will be a significant cost for startup businesses. Plan ahead for this.
It’s a funny question, because you’ll be labeling all product that enters and exits your retail store. There are no specific regulations about packaging on premises, but cannabis must be already sealed before transport.
Yes and no. Generally, you can’t sell alcohol or tobacco at cannabis dispensaries or cannabis at smoke shops, liquor shops, etc. Terpenes (basically cannabis essential oils) and hemp products have different rules. It’s possible to create cannabis-flavored products that don’t include THC.
Also, tinctures contain alcohol, so even though THC vodka or beer (or even vodka or beer without cannabis) would be passe in Montana dispensaries, alcohol-based tinctures are allowed.
You can. So long as you meet the requirements, you can house everything in one building. Each license can be obtained and stacked on each other.
You can’t give away products, and the seed-to-sale tracking system ensures each plant is sold.
Your store can be open between the hours of 8am and 6pm, seven days a week.
You can’t. Advertising marijuana or marijuana-related products is prohibited by Section 19. Section 50-46-341.
18 with a qualifying medical condition.
Montana’s system of record for the cannabis industry is Franwell’s MetRC POS platform. Your POS should ultimately report to MetRC directly to seamlessly remain compliant.
You’ll need to pay Franwell $40 per month per Metrc license and $0.25 to $0.45 for package and plant tags.