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420 with CNW — Activists File Lawsuits Against Montana Governor over Cannabis Bill Veto

Last week, activists filed lawsuits against Montana Governor Greg Gianforte’s decision to veto legislation that shed light on how the state allocated taxes realized from the sale of recreational cannabis. One of the lawsuits was filed by the Montana Association of Counties while the other one was filed by the Montana Wildlife Federation and Wild Montana.

The latter lawsuit requests that a Helena district court judge declare the governor’s veto of the measure void, unless and until both the secretary of state and Gov. Gianforte ask legislators their stand on whether to override the governor’s decision on the last day of this legislative session. Lawmakers can override this veto with a majority vote of two-thirds.

The lawsuit calls attention to the fact that while the governor does possess constitutional authority to veto the measure, he cannot exercise this authority with regard to this particular bill or any other for that matter if it interferes with the constitutional authority of the legislature to override said veto.

On May 1, 2023, the measure in question, SB 442, was approved in the senate by a 48 to 1 vote. The measure, which was sponsored by Senator Mike Lang, proposed that taxes imposed on the sale of recreational cannabis be divided between the general fund, conservation and recreation programs, addiction treatment and veterans services, and county road construction and maintenance.

On May 2, 2023, Gianforte vetoed the measure, arguing that it made the state responsible for things under the jurisdiction of local authorities, thus creating a slippery slope. The governor also disagreed with the fact that the legislation directed cannabis revenues to different accounts. The veto was read right before Senate Majority Leader Pat Flowers adjourned the Senate, which made it impossible for the legislature to override it.

This timing left the measure in a state of uncertainty, with the plaintiffs arguing that Gianforte’s veto wasn’t formally communicated to the senate, which made it invalid. For a veto poll to be issued now that the legislature is fully out of session, Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen has to receive the veto memo and the measure from the office of the governor. At the moment, this hasn’t been done, despite insistence from Wild Montana attorneys.

In both lawsuits, the plaintiffs argue that failing to fix this situation by issuing a poll to override the governor’s veto would create a loophole that could be used in the future to steer clear of veto overrides.

As these moves to reform cannabis laws in Montana are taking place, a different situation is unfolding in the realm of the medical use of marijuana. Several enterprises, including IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC), are making strides forward in their bids to commercialize THC-derived formulations. Once these are approved by the FDA, offerings from these companies will be available to patients through the medical system in and outside the United States.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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