We’re always excited to welcome a new dispensary to the Brytemap suite of software products, and even more excited when it’s our first one in a newly-legal state.

In case you missed the news, Montana joined the ranks of cannabis states last year, legalizing both medical and recreational use at the start of 2021. That simplifies the story a bit, as a ballot initiative approved medical cannabis way back in 2004. Let’s just say it took a while for the voters’ wishes to become reality.

As in many other states, implementation has taken some time also. Starting in 2021 it became legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and to purchase up to five ounces. Adult use sales became legal on January 1, 2022, but only in counties that voted in favor of the referendum. The others have the option of running their own referendum and, if approved by a majority, beginning sales.

The final step will be cultivation, which becomes legal on January 1, 2023, until which time only licensed medical marijuana providers are permitted.

As with most other states, cannabis is a cash-only business, a continued source of frustration thanks to the federal prohibition. All sales will be taxed at 20% by the state, with a few counties tacking on another 3%. There is some privacy protection built into Montana’s legislation also: While shops must of course check IDs, they may retain that information for no more than 180 days, and may not sell it or share it with third parties.

Unlike many other states, Montana has the thorny issue of jurisdiction in Indian reservations. To call this a gray area would be a huge understatement, but know that what’s legal in the state is not necessarily so on a reservation. And if you were looking forward to a Rocky Mountain high while visiting Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks, bad news: The federal prohibition remains in effect in all National Parks in Montana or elsewhere.

Montana residents are allowed to grow their own, though: Possession of up to two mature plants and two seedlings is permitted, as long as the plants aren’t publicly visible.

We look forward to welcoming our new dispensary, and many more, to the Brytemap family in Big Sky Country.

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