Gun Rights in Montana for Medical Cannabis Patients
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In the first three years, the number of patients stayed comparatively low, and it wasn’t until June 2008 that it surpassed 1,000.
As federal government regulations began to loosen towards the end of 2009, a growing number of marijuana businesses emerged, which also led to a rapid increase in the number of medical marijuana patients.
At the end of 2010, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHSS) issued more than 27,000 medical marijuana cards.
The state’s rapidly expanding medical marijuana cardholder population prompted a number of proposals, including SB 423, to further restrict the program and deny adequate access to medical marijuana to most patients.
SB 423 was challenged in state court before it was implemented, with the majority of its harshest sections overturned.
In February 2016, following a five-year legal struggle, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the restricted statute and applied all of its heavy restrictions.
Over 93% of the total patients in the state had lost access to a medical marijuana supplier by August 2016.
Citizens once again exercised their right to vote, this time on November 8, 2016, during the general election.
57% of voters endorsed I-182, which amended Montana’s medical marijuana law to eliminate its most detrimental sections. It also created a basic regulatory framework for businesses that serve patients, which was not there in the previous version of the law.
Governor Steve Bullock signed SB333 into law in May 2017, further regulating the medical cannabis market by requiring testing and recording of the sale of seeds.
The Montana Department of Revenue Cannabis Control Division (CCD) was assigned to oversee the state’s medical marijuana program in 2021.
Does Having a Medical Cannabis Card Mean Not Being Eligible for a Gun License in Montana?
In spite of the fact that Montana has some of the most lax firearms regulations in the country, there are still a few restrictions that a registered Montana medical marijuana cardholder should be aware of.
One of those limitations is related to the possession and ownership of firearms.
According to federal law, marijuana is a “restricted drug,” and anyone who consumes it is considered an “unlawful person”. A medical marijuana card issued by Montana is NOT an exception to this federal ban.
The possession of guns by an unlawful person is a federal offense, and the federal government will consider your possession of a medical marijuana card in Montana to be evidence that you are an unlawful person.
While several states have disputed this, Montana is not one of them. Despite having one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the nation, Montana’s state politicians have mostly been silent on how to resolve the problem between state legality and federal prohibition.
The good news is that CCD, which provides medical marijuana cards, does not share its list of cardholders with the federal government due to the right to privacy guaranteed by the Montana Constitution.
The department is required to keep a private list of the people to whom registration identity cards have been issued. The list’s individual names and other identifying information are kept private and not shared externally.
Because of their lenient gun laws and the confidentiality of their medical marijuana patients’ information, it may be possible for you to obtain a firearm in Montana, even if you already have a medical marijuana license.
However, remember that in accordance with federal law, you are still acting unlawfully by doing so.
Can You Take Your Gun to a Dispensary in Montana?
There is no waiting time, no permit needed, nor any state-mandated registration of guns when buying a handgun from a private party. Private sales are not subject to background checks.
All buyers of handguns from Federal Firearms Dealers, except for those who possess a Montana Concealed Weapons Permit (MCWP), must submit to federal background checks.
Anyone who can lawfully possess a handgun and is at least 18 years old may open and conceal carry in Montana without a permit, but some places are off-bounds even with an MCWP:
- School buildings, except with prior permission
- Montana University System campuses except by trained law enforcement or security officers
- Correctional, detention, and treatment facilities operated by or contracted with the department of corrections
- Secure treatment facilities operated by the department of public health and human services
- Detention facilities and secure areas of law enforcement facilities owned and operated by a city or county
- At or beyond a security screening checkpoint regulated by the transportation security administration in a publicly-owned, commercial airport
- Buildings owned and occupied by the United States
- Military reservations owned and managed by the United States
- Private property where the owner of the property or the person in control of the property, including a tenant or lessee of the property, expressly prohibits firearms
- Courtrooms or areas of courthouses in use by court personnel pursuant to an order of a justice of the peace or judge
- Anywhere while under the influence of an intoxicating substance
- State game preserves, unless in possession of a permit issued by the Director of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law
Guns can be carried in a Montana dispensary without a permit as long as the dispensary allows them.
If you’re interested in medical cannabis, you may enjoy reading the following article: Who Can Tell I Have a Medical Cannabis Card?
Can You Consume CBD and Own a Gun in Montana?
In general, SB176 follows federal requirements that hemp must come from a source that has received state approval and have a THC content of less than 0.3% by weight.
In 2019, the Montana DPHHS issued a statement that CBD cannot be used as an additive in food or beverages, citing the FDA’s current position on the cannabinoid.
Although CBD is legal in Montana, the state forbids the sale and use of any CBD product that doesn’t adhere to FDA guidelines.
So long as the CBD product being consumed follows this guideline, then you won’t have any problem taking it while owning a gun.
Ready to Get a Medical Cannabis Card? Get Certified Today
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