Montana Cannabis License Guidelines

Montana Cannabis Control Division

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Cannabis Control Division (CCD) is a division within the Department of Revenue. The objective of the CCD is to develop a well-regulated program so that individuals with a debilitating medical condition can safely access the medicine they need. House Bill 701 (HB 701) was passed by the 2021 Montana Legislature and signed into law on 5/18/2021. HB701 amends both the recreational marijuana initiative I-190 and the Montana Medical Marijuana Act. CCD administers both programs as the “Montana Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” under Title 16, chapter 12. 

Department Duties 

  1. Administers licenses for: 
    • Canopy licenses: main business license; structured in tiers 
    • Provider location license: required for cultivation locations 
    • Marijuana infused product provider (MIPP) location license: required for manufacturing facilities 
    • Dispensary location license: required for each dispensary 
    • Chemical manufacturing endorsement 
  2. Medical marijuana industry employee applications 
  3. Medical marijuana program testing lab 
  4. Medical marijuana inspections 
  5. Seed-to-sale systems Economic Affairs Interim Committee Areas of Interest 
  6. The Economic Affairs Interim Committee has been assigned a study (SJ 31) for the 2021-2022 interim to review the implementation of the recreational marijuana program and evaluate the state of the medical marijuana program. The study will involve significant involvement with the CCD.

Montana Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Montana commercial and medical cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

Is adult-use marijuana possession and use legal in Montana?

As of January 1, 2021, adults 21 and over may possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana with no criminal penalties. However, marijuana consumption and possession (including medical marijuana) remains prohibited in public and certain other locations. It is also prohibited under federal law on all federal lands and waters.

Marijuana (except medical marijuana) is prohibited in hospitals and other health care facilities.

Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana remains illegal.

Contact your local law enforcement agency for more information.

Is it legal for individuals in Montana to grow their own marijuana?

Adults may cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings for private use in a private residence, subject to certain restrictions. (Medical marijuana cardholders may cultivate up to four mature plants and four seedlings). The plants may not be visible to the public.

Is adult-use marijuana available for sale in all Montana counties?

No. In “green” counties, where the majority of voters supported Initiative 190 in November 2020, adult-use sales began in January 2022.

In “red” counties, where the majority of voters opposed Initiative 190, adult-use marijuana sales are prohibited.

Could a county change its position on marijuana business operating in its locality?

Yes. In a county where the majority of voters opposed Initiative 190, adult-use sales will be allowed if that county holds an election and a majority of the voters choose to allow marijuana businesses to operate in that jurisdiction.

In a county where the majority of voters supported Initiative 190, certain marijuana businesses could be prohibited if that county holds a local election and a majority of the voters choose to prohibit that type of business from operating.

Are medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana available at the same business?

Yes. A licensed medical marijuana dispensary licensed on or before November 3, 2020, may sell adult-use marijuana in the same location as medical marijuana.

Montana Cannabis License Types

There are many different license types for cannabis in Montana. We are here to help you understand which one is the best for you and your business.

Dispensaries

  • Applications for new dispensary licenses will be available starting 7/1/2023.
  • Existing businesses may apply for additional dispensary locations.
  • Businesses may have multiple license types including Cultivator, Manufacturer, Dispensary, and Transporter. There is no requirement to have multiple license types.
  • Dispensaries may purchase marijuana or marijuana products from other licensed businesses.
  • All sales to registered cardholders or adult-use consumers must be entered in the seed-to-sale tracking system.
  • All employees must have a valid Worker Permit prior to starting work.
  • Annual dispensary fees are $5,000 per location.
  • Applications require a processing fee of 20% of the license fees.
  • Application processing fees are non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application.

Cultivator

  • Applications for new businesses to cultivate will be available starting 7/1/2023.
  • Cultivators can apply to increase their tier by one tier in conjunction with their regular renewal by demonstrating compliance with 16-12-223 (1)(e), MCA.
  • From 1/1/2022 until 7/1/2023 Cultivators may increase tier by more than one tier at a time up to Tier 5 in conjunction with their annual license renewal.
  • All new cultivation sites are required to be indoor only.
  • Cultivators may sell the marijuana they cultivate to other businesses or at their own licensed dispensary.
  • All licensed marijuana facilities are subject to inspection by CCD inspectors.
  • Businesses may have multiple license types including Cultivator, Manufacturer, Dispensary, and Transporter. There is no requirement to have multiple license types.
  • Cultivators are allowed to transport their own product between licensed facilities.
  • Cultivators may not sell directly to consumers for either medical or adult use. Sales to consumers may only occur at licensed dispensaries.
  • All employees must have a valid Worker Permit prior to starting work.
Tier Maximum Square Footage Maximum Indoor Facilities Fees


Micro Tier

250 1 $1,000
Tier 1 1,000 1 $2,500
Tier 2 2,500 2 $5,000
Tier 3 5,000 3 $7,500
Tier 4 7,500 4 $10,000
Tier 5 10,000 5 $13,000
Tier 6 13,000 5 $15,000
Tier 7 15,000 5 $17,500
Tier 8 17,500 5 $20,000
Tier 9 20,000 6 $23,000
Tier 10 30,000 7 $27,000
Tier 11 40,000 8 $32,000
Tier 12 50,000 9 $37,000

Testing Lab

  • All marijuana and marijuana products must pass testing before being sold in a dispensary to either a registered medical cardholder or adult-use consumer.
  • Testing requirements are the same for both medical and adult-use marijuana and marijuana products.
  • All employees must have a valid Worker Permit prior to starting work.
  • Testing laboratories must employ a Scientific Director that meets statutory education and work experience requirements.
  • Testing laboratories are licensed by the CCD in close coordination with the Department of Public Health and Human Services. DPHHS performs initial evaluation for application endorsement and subsequent facility inspections while CCD evaluates the application, compliance with general business requirements, processes annual licensing fees, and issues licenses.
    • Testing Lab License: $5,000
    • Storage Facility Endorsement: $1,000

Manufacturing

  • Applications for new licenses to manufacture will be available starting 7/1/2023.
  • Existing businesses may apply for additional manufacturing sites or tier increases.
  • Manufacturing licenses are tiered according to how much concentrate is manufactured monthly.
  • Manufacturing businesses that do not produce concentrate but perform other allowable activities that fall under the definition of manufacturing are licensed as a Tier 1.
  • Businesses may have multiple license types including Cultivator, Manufacturer, Dispensary, and Transporter. There is no requirement to have multiple license types.
  • Manufacturers may purchase marijuana from licensed businesses and may sell the products they manufacture to other licensed businesses.
  • Manufacturers can transport their own product between licensed facilities.
  • Manufacturers are not allowed to sell directly to medical or adult use consumers. Sales to consumers may only occur at licensed dispensaries.
  • All employees must have a valid Worker Permit prior to starting work.
Tier Fees Production Allowed
Tier 1 $5,000 Up to 10 pounds of concentrate production per month.
Tier 2 $10,000 Between 10 and 15 pounds of concentrate production per month.
Tier 3 $20,000 15 pounds or more of concentrate production per month.

All fees are annual and are based on the amount of concentrate produced monthly. Manufacturers who do not produce concentrate may use the lowest tier.

Transporter

The Marijuana Transporter license was created by the 2021 Legislature through House Bill 701. The transporter license allows a business to transport marijuana and marijuana products between licensed marijuana business registered premises, including testing laboratories, or to medical registered cardholders. Transporters may not deliver to adult-use consumers.  

  • Transporter licenses are only required for third party transportation.
    For example:
    A business with a valid cultivation license may transport their own product to another of their own licensed sites or to another licensed business. Dispensaries may deliver to registered cardholders without a transporter license. The transporter license allows other licensees (cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, laboratories) to contract the transportation.
  • All marijuana transportation, except marijuana legally possessed by a registered cardholder or adult-use consumer, requires a valid transport manifest from the seed-to-sale tracking system.
  • Transporters are not required to maintain a business physical location; however, without a physical location, they may not store any marijuana overnight and must complete all marijuana transfers the same day.
  • All employees must have a valid Worker Permit prior to starting work.
    • Transporter licenses are valid for two years from date of issue.
    • Transporters may optionally apply for a storage facility endorsement. A storage facility endorsement allows the licensee to maintain a separate, off-site storage facility for the temporary storage of marijuana.
    • Applications require a processing fee of 20% of the license fees.
    • Application processing fees are non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application.
    • Transporter licenses are $10,000 for a two-year period.
    • Storage facility endorsement is $1,000 annually.
    • Applications require a processing fee of 20% of the license fees.
    • Application processing fees are non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the application.

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