Up in smoke: Montana medical marijuana cardholders on the rise

Up in smoke: Montana medical marijuana cardholders on the rise

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The Justice Department is reportedly rolling back the Obama-era policy of not challenging state laws regarding medical and recreational marijuana use. Buzz60 HELENA — Medical marijuana cardholders in Montana have nearly tripled and the number of providers has increased by 17 percent since a 2016 ballot initiative and 2017 state Senate bill loosened restrictions, according to a report filed by a state agency. But the state totals are not an all-time high, no pun intended, as Montana had 31,522 cardholders in May 2011, prior to legal challenges and legislative action. And as of Nov. 15, the Department of Revenue has collected $395,251 in first-quarter taxes from 434 providers, which represented about $10 million in gross sales for the three-month period, the report states. The summary by the Montana Legislative Services Division office of research and policy analysis found that by Dec. 29, 2017, Montana had 22,177 medical marijuana cardholders as compared with 7,785 on Oct. 31, 2016, a 185 percent increase. In 2012 that total was 8,681. Since Oct. 31, 2016, the number of Cascade County cardholders went from 333 to 912 cardholders and the number of providers went from 9 to 16, the report found. The study also notes that four doctors had more than 1,000 cardholders each by late 2017; there were five for 501-1,000 and 251-500 cardholders. On the lower end, there were 71 physicians who had one cardholder, 28 each with two or three and 24 with four, according to the report. The report prompted one lawmaker to say the number was too high for a state with a population of 1 million while a spokeswoman for the cannabis industry said people need to remember the program was shut down for several months and is returning with an improved regulatory infrastructure. The review comes after […]

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