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Medical Marijuana Caregiver - Montana

Voters in the State of Montana approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 2004 and were asked to vote on another medical marijuana issue entitled “Initiative Referendum No. 124” during the 2012 election process, which served to clarify some of the issues involved in the 2004 legislation. 

The Initiative language reads as follows: 

"In 2004, Montana voters approved I-14, creating a medical marijuana program for patients with debilitating medical conditions.  Senate Bill 423, passed by the 2012 Legislature, repeals I-148 and enacts a new medical marijuana program, which includes:  permitting patients to grow marijuana or designate a provider, limiting each marijuana provider to three patients; prohibiting marijuana providers from accepting anything of value in exchange for services or products; granting local governments authority to regulate marijuana providers; establishing specific standards for demonstrating chronic pain; and reviewing the practices of doctors who certify marijuana use for 25 or more patients in a 12-month period.”

The Initiative passed with 57.25% of votes cast in favor and 42.75% of votes cast against the medical marijuana Initiative.  Since voters in the State of Montana had already approved a system of administering marijuana to patients with qualifying debilitating medical conditions, there will likely be no fiscal impact on the State of Montana by passage of Initiative 124!
SUMMARY:  On November 2, 2004, sixty-two percent (62%) of Montana voters approved Initiative 148 and it became effective on the same day.  The law removed Montana state-level criminal penalties for the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana by qualified Patients who have written documentation from their doctors recommending the use of medical marijuana.  People diagnosed with any of the following medical conditions are legally protected from criminal  prosecution for possession or use of marijuana under this act:  cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (including but not limited to those caused by epilepsy), or severe and persistent muscle spasms (including but not limited to those caused by multiple sclerosis) or Crohn's disease.  The law provides that medical marijuana Patients (or their Primary Caregivers) are allowed to legally be in possession of up to six (6) marijuana plants. The Montana law also established a confidential, state-run medical marijuana Patient registry that issues identification cards to qualified patients.  Patients who have a valid medical marijuana registry card from another state which allows the use of  medical marijuana will be recognized in 
this state
, as long as they comply with the quantity limits imposed on medical marijuana Patients in this state.

RECIPROCITY:  Montana's medical marijuana policy authorizes qualified Patients (who are in possession of a registry identification card or its equivalent from their home state that allows for medical use of marijuana) to engage in the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes while in Montana.  It also allows a person to assist a qualified Patient with his or her medical use of marijuana while in the State of Montana.  See Mont. Code Ann. §50-46-201(8) (2009).

AMENDMENTS:  On May 14, 2011, Montana's medical marijuana law was amended via Senate Bill 423 and the amendments were to become effective on July 1, 2011 and included the following changes: 

  • Patients suffering from chronic pain will face more stringent requirements in order to qualify under Montana's medical marijuana law and, in some cases, may be required to provide recommendations from two (2) separate doctors.
  • Any Patient convicted of a marijuana DUI offense will have their medical marijuana privileges revoked.
  • Any advising physician who recommends more than two (2) patients per year will be reported to the Montana Board of Medical Examiners and these physicians will be responsible for the costs of any such investigation.
  • Qualified medical marijuana Patients cannot monetarily compensate Caregivers for providing marijuana to them.

A summary of the primary provisions of Montana's SB 423 can be seen by clicking here and the full measure can be viewed online by clicking here.  Some of the provisions of Montana's SB 423 are being litigated in court at the present time.  .

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES:  The statute regarding Montana's medical marijuana laws is the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, Mont. Code Ann. §§50-46-1 to 50-46-2 (2007).

CONTACT INFORMATION:  Additional information may be obtained at


Montana Medical Marijuana Statistics:

Year Law Passed

Voter Percentage

Patient Fee

Approved Patients 2011

Possession Limit

Accepts other State Cards





1 oz usable, 4 plants
(4 mature, 12 seedlings)


Montana Marijuana Caregiver List     Montana Marijuana Patient Forum

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