Driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal, as is delivering or distributing marijuana to someone who is under 21.
“Every case is different and has unique facts, so you have to look at each one and make sure it fits the criteria,” Helena criminal defense attorney Jenny Kaleczyc said. “In some cases, that criteria may be in dispute. We’ll find out.”
The Montana Department of Justice has been in contact with local attorneys about changes in criminal law since voters approved the ballot initiative by 57% in November, officials said.
People with misdemeanor possession convictions will be able to begin the process of expunging the charges from their records starting Jan. 1. Montana Supreme Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin said Monday that data on marijuana convictions that qualify for expungement was not immediately available.
Under the new law, dispensaries and providers will remain unable to apply for a marijuana business license through the Department of Revenue until October, and won’t be able to sell cannabis commercially until January 2022.
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Residents can possess up to one ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrates and can grow up to four marijuana plants at their homes and transport it freely within the state, Lee Newspapers of Montana reported.
Racki said the initiative included $50 fines for smoking marijuana in public and $250 fines for growing marijuana somewhere visible from a public place. It is unclear who would enforce those regulations.
Bring identification proving that you are 21 years of age.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME TO A DISPENSARY?
“Concentrates” are extracted cannabis oils, which tend to be extremely potent and are not recommended for novice consumers.
IS MARIJUANA TESTED IN MONTANA?
No. Per HB 701, only counties where a majority of residents voted in favor of cannabis legalization during the 2020 election have authorized recreational sales, and are referred to as “green counties.” Counties that did not vote in favor of legalization, however, have the right to take a re-vote on the question and switch from a “red county” to a “green county.”