Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting offers a full range of cannabis consulting services in the state of Montana. Our vertically integrated consulting system offers a path to business success. From startup to scaling and expansion of your cannabis-related business and everything in-between our team of industry experts can help. If you have any questions please contact us online or call (844) HI-YIELD.

Important Wins from the 2020 Election: Montana

Montana’s ballot initiatives and their success made history in 2020 when they expanded their legal cannabis market to include adult-use. Montana placed statues on the legal age for purchase, possession, and consumption at +21.  

 Statutory Initiative 190 established possession limits, regulatory framework, and a deadline for the first application and licensing period that will only be open to current operators in good standing. The projected potential revenue from estimated tax collections for the state in the first fully operational year sits around $14 million, almost $15 million going up to $21 million in the second year and $27 million in the third year. If these figures hold, there can be as many as 1,304 jobs tied to the newly expanded market in the first year, 1,846 in the second year, and 2,411 in the third year. These projections were calculated by Bridge West CPAs, who evaluated this based on other similar states.

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Important Compliance Considerations
for METRC in Montana

As part of the most regulated industry in history, cannabis operators face intense scrutiny from local and state governments. METRC, a seed-to-sale tracking system, helps operators stay compliant by creating an easily identifiable chain of custody for each cannabis product. Using METRC makes recalls easy and ensures accountability.

Mandated in 15 states plus Washington D.C., METRC is similar everywhere. However, there are nuances in each state. In order to remain compliant, businesses must be aware of and adhere to their state’s specific regulations.

As of January 1, 2021, recreational cannabis is legal in Montana. The Department of Public Health and Human Services has chosen METRC to be the seed-to-sale tracking system in place for this nascent market. 

However, the state is still in the early stages of implementing METRC. We’re following this situation closely and will update you when we know more.

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The History of
Cannabis in Montana

Montana’s first medical marijuana laws were adopted in 2004 when Initiative 148 passed. Then, in 2011, lawmakers attempted a repeal effort, which ultimately resulted in Senate Bill 423. Though the medical marijuana program was not repealed, Senate Bill 423 laid a lot of red tape over the industry. In short, the law enacted provisions that ended up costing over 90% of patients their access to medical marijuana.

By the general election of 2016, voters had taken action against Senate Bill 423’s provisions that harmed both patients and providers. Fifty-seven percent of voters approved Initiative 182, a new piece of legislation that removed most of those harmful provisions and established the first real framework for marijuana businesses in the state. 

Today, patients can register for the medical marijuana program with a recommendation from a licensed physician. They can get marijuana from a legal provider or even grow up to four mature plants themselves.

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Licenses in Montana

If you are looking to attain a license for hemp or cannabis in Montana Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting can help. Our team of cannabis licensing consultants and technical writers has had great success helping newcomers and experienced operators attain licenses all over the world.

Higher Yields Consultants - Montana Cannabis Consultants

Market Conditions
in Montana

Though Montana’s medical marijuana program got off to a rough start, growth is happening as more and more patients register. The number of registered patients has grown by more than 340% since 2016. Additionally, medical spending is projected to reach $144 million by 2024.

Montana is home to 1.06 million people and 372 dispensaries. Additionally, support for recreational adult use in the state is growing. A March 2019 poll from the University of Montana found that over 50% of registered voters support recreational adult marijuana use laws. The future of the Montana cannabis market looks promising, and there’s no time like the present to get in on the action.


Both Medical and Adult Use cannabis are legal in Montana as of House Bill 701 makes several changes to the voter-initiated law. Specifically, it moves back the deadline for state regulators to begin licensing retail marijuana sales from October 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022. Initially (for the first 18 months), only those already operating medical dispensaries will be eligible to engage in retail marijuana sales. 

The measure also reduces the number of cannabis plants that an adult may legally cultivate in a private residence from a total of four plants and/or four seedlings to no more than two plants and/or two seedlings. Households with more than one adult are permitted to grow twice that amount without penalty. 

Residents who don’t want to grow their own marijuana and who do not have a medical marijuana card will have to wait until Jan. 1, 2022, when already established medical dispensaries can start selling it to all adults. HB 701 gives established Montana medical marijuana providers an 18-month head start on the adult-use market, and dispensaries that are not already established will not be able to apply for an adult-use license from the state until July 1, 2023. 

In 2004, voters passed Initiative 148, making Montana one of 33 states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. To open a medical dispensary in Montana, you can apply online through Complia’s Industry Portal. Here’s a look at some of the to-do’s for dispensary licensure applicants in Montana:

You must first have a Canopy License to become a Provider and/or MIPP. You can apply for a Canopy License and a dispensary license at the same time.

  • All owners must submit fingerprints and have completed background checks.
  • You must submit proof of government ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • If you’ll be renting the space used for your dispensary, you’ll need to submit a Property Owner Permission Form with your application.
  • A license for one dispensary location costs $500.

All the necessary forms and steps are included in the Montana Medical Marijuana Program Dispensaries page on the Montana government website. You can check it out here.

Contact Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting Today

If you’re interested in opening a cannabis business in Montana, Higher Yields Consulting can help you take the first steps. We are a cannabis consulting firm full of industry professionals that pride ourselves on our proven ability to help our clients’ businesses soar. We can assist you with everything from state compliance to branding your new business. Ready to get started? Give us a call at (844) 449-4353 or fill out our online contact form to discuss how we can help you.

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