Last Thursday, Montana’s Senate Committee for Economic and Labor Affairs approved SB 546 on a 6-to-4 vote count, giving it a pass for further Senate discussion. The bill, introduced by Senator Keith Regier, aimed to significantly reduce the potency of the medicinal cannabis plant and products in Montana by outlawing adult-use marijuana businesses, increasing the taxation on medical cannabis from 4% to 20%, and placing strict restrictions on the amount that can be legally possessed. It also aimed to reduce the number of marijuana plants grown for personal use from two to one.
Advocates for medicinal marijuana challenged the law, claiming it would prevent patients who depend on it for treating pain and other conditions from accessing it. Numerous individuals would not have been able to afford medical marijuana because of the anticipated tax rise.
Three GOP committee members — Committee Chair Jason Small, Senate President Jason Ellsworth and Senator Sales Walt — joined forces with all three Democratic members to reject the measure. Supporters of medical cannabis who have pushed for access to relatively affordable medical marijuana celebrated this ruling as a victory.
The strength of cannabis and youthful access were issues brought up by the bill’s supporters at the committee session on Thursday and the debate on Wednesday. Bill 546 would have reduced the permissible concentration of the psychoactive component THC in medicinal cannabis flowers from 35% to 10% and outlawed concentrates with higher THC concentrations.
The bill’s opponents said that it would have resulted in the loss of dozens of industrial jobs, encouraged the growth of a black market and prevented the state from collecting a significant amount of taxes. Although Small admitted that he favors some aspects of the proposal, he claimed that the bill is difficult to pass at this point of the session.
Currently, Montana regulation does not place a limit on the potency of cannabis extract products. The committee’s move to table the draft SB 546, which sought to regulate the strength of medical cannabis flower and extracts in Montana, suggests that additional discussion is required prior to passing any new laws.
It’s crucial to strike a balance between the demands of patients who require medical cannabis and worries about strength and young individuals’ access, as well as the effects on industry employment and tax income. The proposed measure might later be amended or reintroduced.
The failure of this measure leaves patients with marijuana cards still able to grow their own medicinal cannabis plants using some modern equipment, such as the mini-gardens sold by Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX).
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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