Montana Judge Blocks Restrictive Medical Marijuana Provisions

A state judge has blocked some of the most onerous provisions of a new law designed to rein in Montana's medical marijuana industry from taking effect. But other provisions of the law, which will make life more difficult for patients and providers, are now in effect.

medical marijuana containers and vaporizer (image via wikimedia)
District Court Judge James Reynolds issued a preliminary injunction late Thursday to block those portions of the law from going into effect hours later. But the rest of the repressive "reform" is in effect as of July 1.

Reynolds ruled that lawmakers went too far in trying to clamp down. He blocked a provision of the new law that outlawed anyone making money in the business, including growers being compensated for their efforts. He blocked the law's ban on advertising and promotion of medical marijuana. And he threw out the new law's provision limiting providers to growing for no more than three patients.

"The court is unaware of and has not been shown where any person in any other licensed and lawful industry in Montana -- be he a barber, an accountant, a lawyer or a doctor -- who, providing a legal product or service, is denied the right to charge for that service or is limited in the number of people he or she can serve," Reynolds wrote.

Those provisions in the law "will certainly limit the number of willing providers and will thereby deny the access of Montanans otherwise eligible for medical marijuana to this legal product and thereby deny these persons this fundamental right of seeking their health in a lawful manner," Reynolds continued.

The lawsuit against the new law was brought by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, which is also organizing a referendum effort to block the law from going into effect until it can go before the voters in November 2012. Montana voters approved the old, less restrictive, medical marijuana law in 2004 with 62% of the vote.

The association called the ruling "a partial victory," noting that "caregivers" have been eliminated and must now become registered "providers." "This, of course, temporarily breaks down the entire system, Yet, it was clearly the judge's intention to allow commercial activity," the group noted.

For a more detailed look at the new law and how the judge's order modified it, visit this Montana NORML web page.

Helena, MT
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Pain

What I have not heard mentioned in any of the articles about this judge's ruling is the elimination of chronic pain from the list of qualifying conditions.  Does anybody know what happened to that "reform"?  The way I understand it, most states that have these laws end up with about 80% of the registered patients qualifying under this.  If this judge did not change this, then it does not matter if the industry can advertise or take money for their product.  Any law that eliminates 80% of the people from a program is essentially ending the program.  Here in Michigan the same ratio applies.  It would in effect end our program if this happened here.

Press Release / The fate of Medical Cannabis awaits a decision i

 

# For Immediate Release

 

The fate of Medical Cannabis awaits a decision in Montana, thousands could be left with no access to their medicine.

 

 

As of February 2014 the DPHHS Montana Marijuana Program Registry confirms there are 8,168 patients with providers and 2,209 patients with no provider. In June of 2011 there were 30,036 card holders and that number is down 21,868 since SB423 was implemented. Many previous card holders are without their medication and/or cards. In addition the number of providers in 2011 was 4,438 and is down 4,116. There are currently 322 providers with patients. SB423 was implemented to curb the perceived abuses occurring under I-148. SB423 as enjoined by the court has addressed this issue and the enjoined provisions are unnecessary at this point to achieve SB423's purpose.

 

If the temporary provisions to SB423 are not made permanent, then providers would be limited to having only three patients. This would provide only 966 of the current 8,168 patients with access to medical cannabis. In addition the providers would not be able to accept any compensation for their services rendered. This would be the death of medical cannabis in Montana.

 

The MTCIA and the State of Montana are in a legal battle regarding these issues as well as others. Both parties agreed to vacate the May 20th hearing if all the motions for partial summary judgments were ruled upon. Judge Reynolds' did say that he would take as much time as he needed in sorting through the legal arguments presented to him. If the judge finds that he cannot reasonably issue his finding within the constraints imposed upon him by the Montana Supreme Court as it relates to any or all of the issues, he will schedule a hearing. This hearing if scheduled may be sometime during late summer or early fall. Any ruling that results from this hearing may not happen until the legislature convenes in January 2015. If the MTCIA gets a favorable ruling on all of the issues, the state will automatically appeal to the State Supreme Court.

 

As other states establish medical cannabis and recreational cannabis, the MTCIA in Montana continues the struggle to protect providers and qualifying patients and their access to medical cannabis. The fate of thousands of Medical cannabis card holders awaits Judge Reynolds decisions and all eyes are on Montana.

 

About MTCIA -

Mission

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association, a Montana non-profit trade association, is dedicated to promoting professionalism, credibility, quality, and vitality in the Cannabis Industry, so as to benefit its members and the citizens of Montana.

We do this by:

~ Serving as the voice of our members, proactively influencing the legislative and regulatory process.

~ Providing industry information and education to our membership and the public.

~ Furthering the ethical and professional standards of our members.

~ Maintaining the positive image of our industries and Association

~ Continuing safe access of medical cannabis to qualifying patients.

Our goal is to influence the quality growth of the cannabis industry in Montana by supporting the development and effectiveness of the local Association and its members, thereby improving conditions in the Cannabis Industry and providing safe, quality affordable cannabis.

 President: Mort Reid

Treasurer: James K. Haney

Board Member: Tayln Lang

Board Member: Paul G. Matt

 

 

Contacts

MTCIA - Mort Reid - 406-670-8854

Tayln Lang - 406-544-4404
 

DPHHS Montana Marijuana Program - 406-444-0596

 

 

 

Sources

 

DPHHS MMP Historical Data and MMP Current Registry Information

http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/marijuanaprogram/

 

MTCIA

http://www.mtcia.org/

 

###

Press Release / The fate of Medical Cannabis awaits a decision i

 

# For Immediate Release

 

The fate of Medical Cannabis awaits a decision in Montana, thousands could be left with no access to their medicine.

 

 

As of February 2014 the DPHHS Montana Marijuana Program Registry confirms there are 8,168 patients with providers and 2,209 patients with no provider. In June of 2011 there were 30,036 card holders and that number is down 21,868 since SB423 was implemented. Many previous card holders are without their medication and/or cards. In addition the number of providers in 2011 was 4,438 and is down 4,116. There are currently 322 providers with patients. SB423 was implemented to curb the perceived abuses occurring under I-148. SB423 as enjoined by the court has addressed this issue and the enjoined provisions are unnecessary at this point to achieve SB423's purpose.

 

If the temporary provisions to SB423 are not made permanent, then providers would be limited to having only three patients. This would provide only 966 of the current 8,168 patients with access to medical cannabis. In addition the providers would not be able to accept any compensation for their services rendered. This would be the death of medical cannabis in Montana.

 

The MTCIA and the State of Montana are in a legal battle regarding these issues as well as others. Both parties agreed to vacate the May 20th hearing if all the motions for partial summary judgments were ruled upon. Judge Reynolds' did say that he would take as much time as he needed in sorting through the legal arguments presented to him. If the judge finds that he cannot reasonably issue his finding within the constraints imposed upon him by the Montana Supreme Court as it relates to any or all of the issues, he will schedule a hearing. This hearing if scheduled may be sometime during late summer or early fall. Any ruling that results from this hearing may not happen until the legislature convenes in January 2015. If the MTCIA gets a favorable ruling on all of the issues, the state will automatically appeal to the State Supreme Court.

 

As other states establish medical cannabis and recreational cannabis, the MTCIA in Montana continues the struggle to protect providers and qualifying patients and their access to medical cannabis. The fate of thousands of Medical cannabis card holders awaits Judge Reynolds decisions and all eyes are on Montana.

 

About MTCIA -

Mission

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association, a Montana non-profit trade association, is dedicated to promoting professionalism, credibility, quality, and vitality in the Cannabis Industry, so as to benefit its members and the citizens of Montana.

We do this by:

~ Serving as the voice of our members, proactively influencing the legislative and regulatory process.

~ Providing industry information and education to our membership and the public.

~ Furthering the ethical and professional standards of our members.

~ Maintaining the positive image of our industries and Association

~ Continuing safe access of medical cannabis to qualifying patients.

Our goal is to influence the quality growth of the cannabis industry in Montana by supporting the development and effectiveness of the local Association and its members, thereby improving conditions in the Cannabis Industry and providing safe, quality affordable cannabis.

 President: Mort Reid

Treasurer: James K. Haney

Board Member: Tayln Lang

Board Member: Paul G. Matt

 

 

Contacts

MTCIA - Mort Reid - 406-670-8854

Tayln Lang - 406-544-4404
 

DPHHS Montana Marijuana Program - 406-444-0596

 

 

 

Sources

 

DPHHS MMP Historical Data and MMP Current Registry Information

http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/marijuanaprogram/

 

MTCIA

http://www.mtcia.org/

 

###

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