On Aug. 31, 2016, the state of Montana implemented new restrictions on its medical marijuana program. Although the state legislature passed the rules back in 2011, the new law has been tied up in a series of unsuccessful court battles.
Under the new law, medical marijuana providers, which includes dispensaries, can have no more than three medical marijuana patients. According to the Associated Press, advocates have estimated that the new rules will cause approximately 12,000 medical marijuana patients to lose legal access to medical marijuana.
“The regulations really do limit our program. It actually decimates our program and brings it down to nothing,” said Misty Carey, owner of KannaKare Health Services, to NBC Montana. “People don’t know what the law is, how they’re going to function within the law or what they’re going to do about their cards.”
Those without a medical marijuana provider still have the option of growing their own marijuana, but many advocates point out that this would be difficult for seriously ill patients.
With only a handful of dispensaries left in the state, medical marijuana advocates are urging patients and supporters to go out and vote for I-182, a voter initiative that would repeal the three-patient limit on medical marijuana providers.