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State updates proposed rules on medical marijuana advertising in response to providers' feedback

Marijuana
Posted at 6:45 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 08:45:13-04

HELENA — Montana regulators have adjusted their proposed new rules for medical marijuana advertising, in response to comments and concerns from marijuana providers.

In July, the Montana Department of Revenue released rule proposals intended to implement House Bill 249, a state law approved earlier this year that allows some online advertising for marijuana businesses. However, many providers objected to the original plan, saying the regulations were too restrictive and would make it hard for them to keep their businesses growing.

On Wednesday, the department announced it was amending the rule proposal after reviewing public testimony. The updated rules would clarify that a provider “may promote its business and market its brand but may not advertise marijuana or marijuana products except in electronic advertising.”

The new proposal would remove several of the original provisions, including one that would have limited the size of outdoor signs and required them to include disclaimers about the risks of marijuana use, and another that would have prevented medical marijuana businesses from sponsoring charitable events.

The new rules would allow providers to advertise on social media if their accounts are private and only open to those 21 and older. Rules for outdoor signage would be left to cities and counties, though marijuana businesses would still be prohibited from using billboard ads.

You can find a link to the full revised proposal here.

The Department of Revenue has extended the public comment period on the new rules through 5 p.m., Sept. 20, 2021. They will not be holding an additional public hearing.

These rules would only be for medical marijuana businesses. Revenue is still drafting rules for recreational marijuana, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2022 – the first day legal sales will be allowed.