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Recreational use of marijuana now legal in Montana

Posted at 9:02 AM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 11:02:30-05

BOZEMAN — Once the clock struck midnight marijuana became legal for recreational use in the state of Montana.

But this new law does not come without some caveats.

“I imagine people… we’ll probably have some amount of people coming to all the stores ready to buy. But you know, we can’t do that so,” said Joshua Gosney, the owner of Infinity Wellness.

While marijuana is now legal for recreational use, only two things have immediately taken effect.

“So, any individual will be allowed to grow a certain number of plants in their house and have a certain amount of product on them at all times,” Gosney said.

So you can grow it and possess it -- but a lot goes into growing the cannabis plant.

“In Montana, you’re going to be primarily in an indoor situation especially in the wintertime, so you’re going to need things like supplemental high-intensity lighting or LEDs, some type of watering apparatus. It’s some work,” explained Ryan Saghatelian, one of the owners of Greener Pastures.

It could be years though until marijuana is available for purchase.

“Probably not going to be until 2022 when the licensing goes into play, so we’re kind of in a weird area right now where it’s legal to possess but it’s not legal to purchase, so there’s a lot of uncertainty,” Saghatelian said.

But with new laws comes new responsibilities.

“There will be limitations to what people can do. It’ll be up to the legislature to make sure that they effectively regulate that in order to maximize tax revenue and public safety and public benefit without risking the public’s health,” Gosney said.

The biggest takeaway to understand is that it is a process, and processes take time.

Just this week, Montana's top political officer ordered a national group that spent millions supporting the campaign for marijuana legalization in the state to provide more info about where that money came from.