CONSULTATION FEE RANGE:
MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS:
- ONE OUNCE OF DRY FLOWER PER DAY AND FIVE OUNCES IN TOTAL PER MONTH.
MINIMUM AGE LIMIT
LIST OF QUALIFYING CONDITIONS FOR A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD IN MONTANA
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Vomiting or intractable nausea
- Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder
- Crohn’s disease
- Admittance into hospice care
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- A CNS disorder that results in muscle spasms or painful/chronic spasticity
If applying to get relief from chronic pain, you must prove it is persistent and so severe that it interferes with daily activities.
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On November 3, 2020, the state of Montana legalized adult-use marijuana via Initiative 190. I-190 came into effect on January 1, 2021, allowing individuals aged 21+ to possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana. This news surprised many people, given the state’s anti-cannabis stance throughout the years.
Montana had not permitted the recreational use of cannabis since 1929. For decades, the state also banned medical marijuana. That changed when a ballot initiative (Measure I-148) legalized MMJ in 2004. The Montana Medical Marijuana Act of that year has changed several times since its introduction into law.
The Montana MMJ program survived attempts to shut it down. In 2011, House Bill 161 tried to repeal I-148 after both houses of the state’s legislature passed the law. However, Governor Brian Schweitzer intervened by vetoing the bill, saving Montana’s MMJ program in the process.
In 2016, the anti-cannabis group, Safe Montana, proposed to change the state’s drug policy to match federal law, thus making marijuana illegal. Instead, the state passed I-182, a proposal to relax the laws on MMJ quantities and recipients, including the addition of PTSD as a qualifying medical condition.
It wasn’t easy to get a Montana MMJ card until recently. However, cannabis telemedicine is now available in the state. This news has changed everything, making it much more straightforward for prospective MMJ patients. Read on to learn how to get an MMJ card in Montana.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in MT
Before we begin, make sure you satisfy the following criteria:
- You are a resident of the state of Montana.
- You are at least 18 years of age. You will need to complete a separate form if you are a minor.
- You were diagnosed with a debilitating qualifying medical condition or have chronic pain.
Step 1 – Schedule an Appointment with a Physician
The first thing you need is a recommendation signed by a doctor. You can get the forms signed by any physician. However, most patients visit a clinic that specializes in cannabis certification.
When you contact a clinic, it will let you know the medical records you must provide when you attend. If you need your records transferred, we recommend doing so a couple of weeks in advance.
Step 2 – Discuss Your Medical Condition with the Physician
In Montana, there are three separate Physician’s Statement options:
- Debilitation condition if you need marijuana due to a debilitating medical condition.
- A Physician’s Statement if you have chronic pain. With this application, you also need proof supporting the diagnosis of chronic pain. This may include MRI scans or X-rays. If physicians don’t find the cause of the chronic pain, you need a second physician’s statement confirming the diagnosis of chronic pain.
- A statement to allow minors to use medical marijuana. Once again, you need two physician’s statements to apply.
Once the physician has completed the assessment, they will decide if you are eligible for an MMJ card. If you are, you will receive a ‘packet.’ It contains the doctor’s recommendation and other paperwork your provider needs to complete.
Step 3 – Decide if You Want to Receive Marijuana from a Licensed Provider or Grow Your Own
Before you complete the application form, Montana residents have a decision to make. They must determine if they wish to get their weed from a provider or whether they want to grow their own. If you want to cultivate cannabis, you must indicate it on the cardholder application form. This involves including the physical address where the marijuana will be grown.
If you are leasing or renting a property, you need the landlord’s written permission. That process involves completing a separate form.
Your second option is to receive your marijuana from a provider. This is a different section on the cardholder form. You don’t receive any advice from the program regarding choosing a provider. Therefore, you are responsible for researching reputable and legal dispensaries in your area. If you choose this option, you are allowed possession of up to one ounce of usable marijuana.
Please note that you must choose one or the other. You can’t name a provider and elect to grow your own.
Step 4 – Complete the Montana Medical Marijuana Program Application Form & Send It
You can access the application form via the Montana Department of Revenue Cannabis Control Division website. Make sure you include the required documentation as requested on the form. You must also include a photocopy of a Montana state-issued ID or driver’s license. Pay the fee, send off the application, and wait!
The official state website does not provide an application timeline. It says that it processes all applications in order of the date received. Your waiting time depends entirely on the number of applications received at that time. This is frustrating because you can’t legally use weed in Montana until you have the card in your possession. If you want to speed up the process, pay by credit card or ACH.
Officially, the state is required to process your paperwork within 30 days.
Your payment is processed immediately, so don’t get overly excited when the money clears! Once you are approved, two copies of the card will be issued. You receive one while your provider receives the other.
You can legally make your purchase or grow your weed as soon as your card arrives in the mail. Make sure you always keep your MMJ card on your person, especially when possessing marijuana! Even if your provider knows you, you will not receive your weed unless you show your card each time.
Telemedicine – A New Hope for Would-Be Montana MMJ Patients
Rather than scheduling an appointment with a physician and traveling to their office, you can gain approval from the comfort of your home. In July 2022, NuggMD announced that it was offering its services to Montana residents. To get started, sign up for a NuggMD account, and enter your information and medical records. The process should only take a few minutes.
From there, you can schedule an online consultation with a physician who goes through your medical records while you wait. Then you begin your video evaluation with the doctor. The process only takes a few minutes, and you’ll know whether you’re eligible for medical marijuana by the end of the meeting.
If approved, you get your recommendation via email in PDF format. At this point, you’ll need to visit the Montana MMJ application portal to create your account. Check your email for the confirmation link. If it’s there, click on it and proceed with your application.
What Are the Montana Medical Cannabis Card Costs?
The MMJ application fee is $30. As for the cost of a physician’s visit, that depends on the clinic. It tends to range between $125 and $200, with an average fee of approximately $150. NuggMD charges $129 for its services; this fee is on top of the application fee.
Is it worth the cost when you can avail of adult-use weed? The answer is ‘yes’ if you’re a regular user. MMJ users in Montana save up to 16% in taxes when buying weed compared to recreational users.
Your Montana MMJ card is valid for 12 months. When it is time to renew, you have to apply through the TransAction Portal. The state emails you 30 days before your card expires. At this point, you need to schedule a new consultation. We recommend beginning the renewal process at least 30 days before the expiry date. The renewal fee is $20 plus the cost of the consultation.
Other Important Information on the Montana Medical Marijuana License Process
If you’re looking for an MMJ card in Montana, you doubtless have many questions. We hope the following section helps alleviate any confusion regarding the state’s program.
How Much Marijuana Can I Purchase & Possess?
The possession limit is one ounce of flower per day and five ounces per month. An ounce of dry flower is the equivalent of eight grams of concentrate, 800mg of THC in edibles, or 8ml worth of vape cartridges.
Are MMJ Cardholders Allowed to Grow Cannabis at Home?
Yes. Medical marijuana cardholders in Montana can cultivate up to four mature plants and four seedlings. Recreational users can grow a maximum of two mature plants and two seedlings. The plants can only be grown in a private residence in both cases.
Can I Use My Marijuana in Public?
No. Marijuana must be consumed in a private residence. You face a fine of up to $50 if caught using it in public. Motorists can drive with the substance in their vehicles. However, the product must be in its unopened, original packaging and stored away from the “passenger area” of the car.
Is There an Option to Assign a Caregiver?
Yes, Montana MMJ patients are permitted to have a caregiver. However, the state has effectively disbanded the caregiver and distribution plans. Instead, Montana now has a Provider/Marijuana Infused Products Provider (MIPP) program.
In the state, caregivers are referred to as “designated purchasers” who must be 21+. Every MMJ patient is entitled to have a designated purchaser and can add them to their new or renewal application on the state’s website.
Furthermore, designated purchasers can also be MMJ patients but must not have a felony drug conviction.
Does Montana Have a Reciprocity Agreement with Any Other State?
Initially, Montana did not have a reciprocity agreement. However, MMJ cardholders from other states are now permitted to buy medical marijuana in the state. Of course, adults aged 21+ can purchase up to an ounce in the state anyway!
Where Can I Buy Marijuana in MT?
Montana has one of the highest concentrations of marijuana dispensaries in the United States. There are over 450 dispensaries in the state, and the number continues to rise. However, less than 20% of these dispensaries exclusively serve MMJ patients.
How Do Minors Apply for a Montana MMJ Card?
Minors must complete a different form. The minor’s parent or guardian must also register and receive approval as a Marijuana-Infused Products Provider (MIPP). Alternatively, this adult can name a provider on the minor’s behalf.
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About the Montana MMJ Program?
Yes! If convicted of DUI during the period your MMJ card is valid, and your driver’s license is revoked, you must also surrender your card. You must complete the DUI revocation period before you can have your card reissued.
Also, individuals under the supervision of the Department of Corrections (or a youth court if a minor) are not eligible to receive an MMJ card in Montana.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Montana Medical Marijuana Card
After a slow start, the medical marijuana program in Montana is building up a head of steam. Thanks to the introduction of telemedicine by NuggMD, it is easier than ever to schedule a consultation with a licensed physician. While recreational weed is legal in Montana, it is still worth going through the MMJ application process due to the lower cost of marijuana and higher cultivation limits.
Need a Medical Marijuana Card?
Let us help by Starting Here