On Nov. 3, 2020, Montanans voted in favor of two legislations that would make the possession of cannabis in the state legal. The first, Initiative 190, legalized the possession and sale of small amounts of cannabis and levied a 20% tax on recreational cannabis sales. The second, Constitutional Initiative 118, would amend the constitution to allow either voters or state legislators to set the age at which adults are allowed to possess and consume cannabis.
The constitutional amendment became effective as of Jan. 1, 2021, and some of its now-effective sections allow adults 21 years and older to possess and consume up to an ounce of cannabis or eight grams of cannabis concentrate. The amendment also allows people to grow up to four cannabis plants in a private residence with the property owner’s permission.
However, unless they possess a medical marijuana card, residents will have to wait a while before they can buy cannabis from their local marijuana dispensary. This is because the sections of the proposed legislation that allow the sale of recreational marijuana won’t take effect until October 2021. Additionally, the already-operational marijuana dispensaries only serve registered medical cannabis patients.
While lawmakers hash out the details of the state’s recreational cannabis market, they will also have to figure out how to handle cannabis cases. Aside from making it legal to possess small amounts of cannabis, Initiative 190 allows folks serving sentences for cannabis-related offenses that are now deemed legal to apply for an expungement of the conviction or, at least, a resentencing. It also bans the advertising of cannabis and cannabis-related products.
According to Lewis & Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher, his office immediately stopped filing marijuana possession charges once Initiative 190 (I-190) passed. Gallagher says that there’s no need for both the accused and the state to waste resources pursuing something that ultimately won’t make a difference.
One of I-190’s newly effective provisions allows people already convicted of cannabis offenses now considered legal to request a judge to remove the convictions from their records. Gallagher says unless the cannabis charge was linked to a violent or sexual offense or a distribution felony charge, his office won’t challenge any expungement.
I-190 also instituted a ban on public smoking of cannabis and set a $50 civil fine for offenders. Although some have expressed concern over how such a ban would be enforced, Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton believes his deputies won’t have much trouble doing so if they catch offenders in the act. Law enforcement officers will also continue to prosecute those who drive under the influence of cannabis.
Meanwhile, the legal cannabis market in Canada is dominated by cannabis flower, and Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC Pink: PRXTF) has opted to specialize in the cannabis extracts segment, a sector estimated to have an annual worth of $2.7 billion.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PULL
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