A bundle of new regulations are about to reshape the way medical cannabis is tested and packaged in Montana. The new rules take effect on Tuesday and will require MMJ providers to adhere to strict new requirements, as reported by the Associated Press.
From now on, every new crop of marijuana a provider harvests will have to be tested for pesticides in one of the state’s four testing facilities. Employees of dispensaries will also require ID badges.
The dates of effective enforcement are relative. Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services is granting a grace period of twenty days to give providers a chance to catch their breath before coming into compliance. Providers who have ten or fewer patients won’t be required to have their wares tested until 2020.
Many of the state’s cannabis regulations are still in flux, and the deadlines are a little hazy. The state’s 577 MMJ providers all have to go through one of four testing facilities. Only two of those actually have licenses at the moment. The other two will have until the end of the month to acquire the licenses, according to health department spokesperson Jon Ebelt.
A new plant limit per providers will also go into effect, as state regulators believe the current limit of 50 square feet per patient is too generous. It’s uncertain what the new limit will be, but it is expected to be posted on Friday and to go into effect in May.
A new online system to track plants and license providers will also be required, but providers won’t have to use this new licensing process until they apply for their annual renewal or the end of the year, whichever comes first. Only about twenty providers are currently using the new registration system.
In addition to the new testing requirements, there will be other costs for providers, such as state-issued permits for every employee and a sliding annual licensing fee which will range from $1,000 to $5,000.
But not all new regulations will be cumbersome for those in the MMJ business. One new rule allows for registered patients to consume cannabis in dispensaries.
Photo via Flickr user Jerry Huddleston