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Legal sales of recreational marijuana set to begin in Montana

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level
Posted at 10:32 PM, Dec 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 09:58:12-05

BOZEMAN — Montana is set to kick off 2022 with the legalization of recreational marijuana sales starting on January 1.

Here are some important things to know before the law takes effect in the new year.

Montana Initiative 190 passed 56% to 43% back in November 2020, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to buy marijuana anywhere in the state.

People living in what are called "green counties" - where a majority of residents voted in favor - will be allowed to have recreational sales.

Residents of "red counties" - where voters opted out of legal sales -will not have recreational sales but still have the ability to make the switch as long as they put it up to a vote.

While marijuana will be legal in Montana, it's still not legal at the federal level, so that means having marijuana at Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park will still not be allowed.

Another thing you should know is that medical marijuana businesses that had a license on or before November 3, 2020, will be the only ones allowed to sell recreational marijuana for the first 18 months.

After July 1, 2023, new businesses will be allowed to apply for permits.

The Montana law allows for adults over the age of 21 to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana with a 20% state sales tax added to the purchase. Other localities may have an additional tax.

Marijuana businesses will only be allowed to open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Montanans will be allowed to have 2 mature plants and 2 seedlings in their home.

Important to know: public consumption of marijuana can get you a civil penalty, and driving under the influence of marijuana will still be illegal.