In early November, Montana residents voted to approve recreational marijuana use in the state. On January 1, it will be legal to grow, purchase, and be in possession of marijuana.

Recreational dispensaries won't be opening anytime soon. The Montana Department of Revenue isn't allowing growers, processors, or retailers to apply for a marijuana business license until October of 2021, which means they they won't be able to sell cannabis recreationally until January of 2022.

While Montanans won't be able to purchase cannabis legally without a medical card until 2022, there are some major changes to laws regarding possessing and growing marijuana that go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Beginning on Friday, January 1, 2021, Montanans will be able to legally:

    • Possess up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrates for persons over the age of 21.
    • Grow up to four marijuana plants at their residence and possess it freely throughout the state. The plants must be in an enclosed area and not in public view.
    • Persons convicted of certain types of marijuana-related crimes, generally those that are no longer a crime under the measure, may request a resentencing or to have the conviction expunged.

While possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will be legal beginning in the new year, it is illegal to use it in public and drive under the influence of marijuana. The new laws do not prohibit employers from disciplining employees for violating workplace drug policies or working while under the influence of marijuana.

It is estimated that the 20% recreational cannabis tax and other fees will generate roughly $48 million annually for Montana by 2025. For more information on the new laws that go into effect of January 1, click here.

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