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If you’re a 420 fan visiting or planning on moving to Big Sky Country, one of the biggest questions on your mind is likely something along the lines of, “Is recreational marijuana legal in Montana?

And we don’t blame you for wondering! When you’re moving or visiting a new place, it’s important to know whether or not you’ll have access to your favorite medical plant.

So, is recreational marijuana legal in Montana? And, more than that, what are the benefits of getting a medical card in MT versus adult-use cannabis? Let’s explore. 

Montana Marijuana Laws: Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Montana? 

Marijuana in Montana has had a long, complicated history. MT first legalized medical cannabis all the way back in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2016 — over ten years later — that the state finally established an accessible MMJ program.

The initial medical cannabis program that was approved in 2004 didn’t establish any set regulations for dispensaries, products, or possession. Thus, patients were hardly able to get their hands on the products they were approved for.

Plus, this act only allowed qualified patients suffering from certain “debilitating medical conditions,” such as cancer, glaucoma, and HIV/AIDS, limiting accessibility even further.

Then, in 2011, Senate Bill 423 was passed, and this implemented even stricter guidelines around the acquisition and possession of medical cannabis. After a five-year battle over the bill’s impossible guidelines, over 12,000 MMJ patients had lost access to their Montana medical marijuana cards.

Thankfully, later that year in 2016, MT voters approved a new medical cannabis bill — one that was more accessible, less restrictive, and looked a lot more like the rest of the MMJ programs across the country.

In November of 2020, Montana voted to legalize adult-use cannabis, and legalization unfolded starting January 1st of the next year.

So, is recreational marijuana legal in Montana? Yes, and it has been for over two years now. 

Rec Weed May Be Legal, But MMJ Cards Have All the Benefits

Recreational cannabis may be legal in Montana, but when you compare apples to apples, medical cannabis still gives patients far more benefits than adult-use cannabis.

Confused? Here are just some of the major benefits that come from having an MT medical card over sticking to just recreational weed. 

Save Money & Get Huge Discounts

One of the biggest selling points of a Montana medical card is the money-saving aspect.

Yes, you have to pay for your MMJ doctor’s appointment and state fee to get your medical card. However, your MT MMJ will pay for itself within your first few visits to the dispensary.

This is because medical marijuana cardholders only have to pay a 4% on their cannabis and cannabis products. Recreational consumers, on the other hand, are subject to a massive tax percentage of 20%. And, some municipalities may charge an additional 3% on top of that.

So, a recreational consumer is going to pay about 20% more for the same cannabis product as a medical cardholder. That’s quite a significant difference.

And that’s not the only money-saving aspect that comes from having an MMJ card.

Most dispensaries will offer medical patients discounts simply because they are a cardholder. So, on top of the only 4% tax you’re paying, you’ll also get some additional money off your purchase with your medical card.

Is recreational marijuana legal in Montana? Yup, but it’s going to cost you a whole lot more than with a medical card.

If you want to save some cash, an MT medical card is always the way to go.    

Bigger Possession Limits, Higher THC Amounts

Having a medical card in Montana means you gain access to larger possession limits and higher THC amounts than recreational consumers.

While both recreational and medical patients are allowed to possess up to an ounce, cardholders can always talk with medical providers to see if they require a higher possession limit.

However, most importantly, recreational consumers are capped at a certain amount of THC when purchasing flower, while medical patients are not.

Recreational consumers cannot buy flower totaling more than 35% THC, but medical patients don’t have a cap here.

This allows medical patients who have chronic conditions to enjoy high-potency products that bring the powerful relief they’re seeking. 

Buy Cannabis in Other States

Another huge benefit of having your Montana medical marijuana card is gaining access to cannabis reciprocity.

Cannabis reciprocity is a program that allows medical marijuana cardholders to purchase medical cannabis in other states with similar MMJ program qualifications. Unfortunately, not all states offer marijuana reciprocity, but many do.

This means that with your Montana medical card, you could travel to another state with medical cannabis, use your card, and enjoy the plant in that state. This is simply illegal for non-medical patients to do in medical-only states.

Your MT medical card is a wonderful way to ensure you still have access to your medication — even on vacation. 

How to Get a Medical Card in Montana

Is recreational marijuana legal in Montana? Yes, but having a medical card grants you access to more potent products, larger discounts, and better cannabis accessibility across the country.

But, how do you get a medical card in Montana in the first place?

It’s easy. The first place is to start with an MMJ doctor — like ours here at Elevate Holistics.

A medical cannabis doctor will sit down with you and discuss whether or not you qualify for MMJ. If you have one of the states qualifying medical conditions, they will grant you a recommendation for medical cannabis. This can be done in person or online.

Once you have your medical recommendation, you’ll head to the state’s website and register. Here, you’ll gather the right documentation, pay the state fee, and get your MMJ card just a few weeks later. It’s as simple as that.

And here at Elevate Holistics, we aim to make the experience even simpler. Our telehealth platform allows patients to meet with our MMJ doctors right from home, over the phone or computer.

With us, there’s no more traveling and no more hassle. Our appointments are quick, informative, and 100% HIPPA-compliant. Plus, we’ll walk you through the rest of the process, too. This way, you’re never left confused or without answers about MT MMJ.  

Experience the Benefits of Medical Cannabis in MT With an MMJ Card  

Last time: is recreational marijuana legal in Montana? You bet. However, as we’ve established, it’s clear that having a medical card brings incredible benefits that are hard to deny.

Elevate Holistics is working hard to get our services live in Montana so we can help people just like you get your medical card at a discounted, affordable price — right from the comfort of home.

As soon as our services are live, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, click our Montana medical cannabis resources below to get familiar with all things MT MMJ. 

Montana Marijuana: Frequently Asked Questions
Montana Medical Card and Gun Laws
Montana Marijuana Laws

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About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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