Understanding the Montana Medical Marijuana Program

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya on April 18, 2024

Program  |  Requirements  |  How to Apply  |  Renew Dispensaries  |  Recreational  |  Benefits  |  Laws  |  FAQs  | Resources

Are you a Montanan seeking wellness through alternative medicine? Then, understanding the workings of the state’s medical marijuana program is a great first step.

By the end of this page, you will have the answers to these questions:

  • How does the Montana medical marijuana program work?
  • How do I register with the Montana medical marijuana program online?
  • Why should I get a medical marijuana card in Montana when recreational cannabis is available?

All the information on this page comes from the official Montana Department of Revenue: Cannabis Control Division website. So, you can trust that you are reading accurate and up-to-date details. Let us begin.

The Montana Medical Marijuana Program

The Cannabis Control Division oversees the Montana Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). This regulatory body plays a pivotal role in ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients.

The division issues medical cards to eligible patients who meet the Montana medical marijuana requirements. Additionally, it maintains a confidential registry of patients who receive identification cards.

Beyond patient registration, the Cannabis Control Division licenses and regulates the cultivation, manufacture, transport, and sale of marijuana. It issues various cannabis license types, including cultivator, manufacturer, dispensary (adult-use and medical), testing laboratory, transporter, and combined-use licenses.

The Montana Medical Marijuana Program aims to provide a safe and regulated framework for patients to access medical marijuana. In addition, it ensures the integrity of the industry and the protection of public health.

Qualifying Conditions and Requirements

You must be a resident of Montana ailing from an illness on the list of qualifying conditions to be eligible for medical marijuana.

The qualifying conditions for a medical card in Montana include:

Aside from the requirements above, a medical marijuana doctor in Montana must issue you with a complete Physician Statement (Cannabis certification or recommendation.) The certification confirms that you have a qualifying medical condition. After getting certified, you must register on the Montana Medical Marijuana Registry.

During your application on the registry, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Passport-style photo
  • Proof of Montana residency
  • A complete physician statement

Moreover, you must pay $20 in state fees for the Montana medical marijuana card. If you lose your medical marijuana card, it costs $10 to replace it.

Minor Patient Information

Minors in Montana may also qualify for medical marijuana under certain circumstances. First, the custodial parent or legal guardian must sign a statement consenting to the minor’s use of marijuana. The parent/legal guardian must also submit the required materials during the medical card application.

Importantly, minors must have their physician statement signed by two doctors. Still, one physician is acceptable if they specialize in oncology, neurology, or epileptology. This added layer of medical oversight ensures cannabis therapy could benefit the minor’s health.

Finally, the parent/guardian must agree to serve as the minor patient’s caregiver. That means regulating the acquisition, dosage, and frequency of the minor’s marijuana use. Also, they must ensure that the minor uses marijuana products through means other than smoking. A background check is necessary for parents/ guardians who wish to grow marijuana for their child.

Caregiver Information

Qualifying patients in Montana can choose up to two individuals to act as caregivers or designated purchasers. These designated purchasers can legally get medical marijuana on behalf of the patient. 

Caregivers play a crucial role in the state’s medical marijuana program by helping those unable to visit dispensaries on their own obtain cannabis.

As a qualifying patient, you can choose a caregiver during your initial application or upon annual renewal. You must provide your caregiver’s name, date of birth, and other relevant documentation during the application process. It is worth noting that Montana medical marijuana laws require that caregivers must be at least 21 years of age.

Out-of-state Medical Marijuana Cards

Montana does not offer reciprocity for out-of-state medical marijuana cards. As a result, visiting patients cannot access medical cannabis in the state with their non-Montana MMJ cards. However, Montana medical marijuana cardholders have the advantage of using their cards in several other states that recognize out-of-state MMJ cards, for example:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Washington D.C.

It’s important to note that reciprocity laws vary from state to state. Therefore, Montana medical cardholders should research and understand the reciprocity laws and requirements of the state they plan to visit.

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Montana

Applying for a medical marijuana card in Montana is essentially a two-step process:

1. Get your Medical Marijuana Recommendation:

  • Book your appointment with one of our Montana medical marijuana doctors.
  • Attend your online marijuana evaluation over a video call.
  • Receive your complete and signed physician recommendation.

2. Register with the Montana Medical Marijuana Registry.

  • Complete the medical marijuana card registration and pay the $20 application fee.
  • Print your Temporary medical marijuana card.
  • Receive your medical marijuana card within 30 days.

Quick Med Cards is the cheapest and fastest medical card provider in Montana. Schedule an appointment with one of our Montana medical marijuana doctors today to get started.

Speak with Our Medical Marijuana Doctor Today

Same-day appointments available.

Renewing your Montana Medical Marijuana Card

Renewing your Montana medical marijuana card is similar to the initial application process. You can begin the renewal process 60 days before your current card expires. Follow these instructions to renew your medical card online.

1. Schedule an appointment with an MMJ doctor in Montana.

2. Attend your cannabis evaluation over a video call.

3. Receive your complete and signed physician statement.

4. Log into your Medical Marijuana Registry account.

5. Complete your renewal application.

6. Pay $20 for your medical marijuana card.

7. Print your temporary medical card.

8. Receive your new Montana medical card within 30 days.

You can use Quick Med Cards to renew your Montana medical marijuana card even if you used another provider previously. Choose the most affordable and fastest renewal option in the state.

Marijuana Dispensaries in Montana

Montana dispensaries provide access to marijuana for both medical and recreational consumers. Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Dispensaries: There are medical-only or adult-use dispensaries. Medical-only dispensaries cater exclusively to registered cardholders. Meanwhile, adult-use dispensaries serve both cardholders and recreational consumers.

Age Restrictions: The minimum age requirement to access Montana dispensaries in Montana is 21 for recreational users while cardholders must be at least 18. Minors with a Montana medical card may also get into dispensaries in the company of their legal guardian.

Access for Medical Cardholders: The Montana medical card enables patients to buy medical cannabis from any dispensary in the state. Medical users can also receive marijuana deliveries from dispensaries.

Adult-Use Marijuana Availability: Recreational marijuana sales are legal in “green” counties where voters supported Initiative 190 in November 2020. However, there are no adult-use sales in “red” counties where the majority opposed the initiative.

Finding Dispensaries: You can find a link to a list of licensed marijuana dispensaries in Montana from our resources section at the bottom of this page.

    Whether you’re a cardholder or an adult-use consumer, Montana dispensaries offer a wide selection of quality cannabis products.

    Growing Marijuana in Montana

    Besides dispensaries, Montanans have the option to grow marijuana at home. Adults aged 21 and over can cultivate up to two mature marijuana plants and two seedlings. Meanwhile, patients with a Montana medical card can grow four mature plants and four seedlings. Please note, anyone cultivating cannabis at home must keep their plants away from public view.

    Recreational Marijuana in Montana

    Montana legalized marijuana for adults aged 21 and over on January 1, 2021. A year later, on January 1, 2022, recreational, or adult-use, marijuana began.

    The state’s 56 counties are split into “green” and “red” based on their stance on Initiative 190. In green counties, where voters supported the initiative, adult-use sales flourish. Conversely, red counties, where the majority opposed the initiative, only allow medical marijuana sales.

    Since legalization, recreational sales have boomed in Montana. In March 2024 alone, Montana dispensaries sold $22,593,299 worth of recreational marijuana.

    Benefits of a Medical Marijuana Card in Montana

    Why get a medical card if recreational cannabis is available? Here are 7 benefits cardholders enjoy over recreational users in Montana.

    1. Significant Cost Savings. The state tax on medical cannabis is only 4% while it is 20% for recreational cannabis in Montana. With a medical card, you get access to much cheaper marijuana and save a lot of cash in the process.

    2. Cultivate more marijuana plants. You can grow up to four mature plants and four seedlings for personal use, which is double the limit for recreational users.

    3. Access to Higher Potency Products. Montana marijuana laws impose a potency cap on adult-use cannabis. However, with a medical card, you have access to more potent medical-grade marijuana strains and formulations that can effectively treat your medical condition.

    4. Expert Guidance. Receive personalized medical advice and support from a licensed marijuana doctor, ensuring your cannabis regimen works to improve your health.

    5. Nationwide Reciprocity. Your Montana medical card grants you access to medical programs in other states.

    6. No Age Restrictions. The age limit for adult-use cannabis is 21. Meanwhile, cardholders can get medical marijuana from the age of 18. Also, eligible minors can get medical cannabis under the supervision of their parent or legal guardian. 

    7. Unrestricted County Access. Buy medical marijuana in any county within Montana, including those that prohibit recreational sales.

    Montana Medical Marijuana Laws

    Montana legalized medical marijuana in 2004. Years later the state legalized adult-use marijuana for individuals 21 and older through Initiative 190 (I-190). This landmark initiative paved the way for recreational cannabis sales to start on January 1, 2022, in counties where most citizens voted for I-190.

    Key aspects of Montana’s marijuana laws include:

    Possession Limits:

    • Cardholders can possess up to 1 ounce of usable marijuana, 8 grams of concentrates, and 800 milligrams of THC edibles. (The same limit applies to recreational users.)
    • They can buy a maximum of 5 ounces per month and no more than 1 ounce daily.
    • Cardholders can petition the department for an exception to the monthly purchase limit if their condition warrants it.

    Cultivation Rights:

    • Cardholders can cultivate up to four mature marijuana plants and four seedlings in their home. (Recreational users can grow half of this amount).

    While Montana’s laws have expanded access to cannabis, certain restrictions remain in place:

    Prohibited Activities:

    • Operating a vehicle or motorized transport while under the influence of marijuana.
    • Smoking or consuming marijuana in public places, on school grounds, or in correctional facilities.
    • Performing solvent-based extractions without a license.

    Workplace Considerations:

    • Employers may prohibit marijuana use, discipline employees for violating workplace drug policies, and decline to hire individuals based on marijuana use.

    Marijuana Tax

    Montana’s approach to taxing marijuana involves a two-tiered system, consisting of state and local taxes. 

    At the state level:

    • Medical marijuana is subject to a 4% state tax.
    • Adult-use marijuana sales are taxed at a higher rate of 20%.

    At a local level:

    While the Montana Legislature sets the state taxes, counties can enact additional local taxes. These optional taxes can be levied on medical, adult-use, or both categories, with a maximum rate of 3%. These local taxes are additive, compounding on top of the state-imposed taxes.

    Marijuana Limits

    Montana cannabis laws set limits on the amount of cannabis medical and recreational users can possess. Moreover, the laws also set limits on the potency of adult-use cannabis.

    The possession limits for both medical and recreational consumers in Montana include:

    • 1 ounce of marijuana flower
    • 800 milligrams of THC in products like edibles
    • 8 grams/8 milliliters of marijuana concentrate

    Medical users can buy 1 ounce daily and 5 ounces monthly. However, they can petition to increase their possession limit to 8 ounces monthly.

    There are no potency limits for medical marijuana. However, adult-use cannabis is restricted to these potency limits:

    • Marijuana Flower: Total THC content may not exceed 35%.
    • Edibles: Up to 10 mg of THC per serving and up to 100 mg THC in an entire package.
    • Capsules, Patches, Suppositories: No more than 100 mg THC per item and 800 mg THC per package.
    • Topicals: No more than 6% THC and 800 mg THC per package.
    • Other Products: For concentrates, extracts, and other products, no more than 800 mg THC per package.

    Montana Medical Marijuana Rules

    While the Montana medical card gives you a lot of benefits, there are rules you must follow. For instance:

    • Do not give any unauthorized person access to your medical marijuana card, cannabis products, or marijuana plants.
    • The state will revoke your medical card if you are convicted of a drug offense.

    Unless it is a more severe penalty, registered cardholders who violate the medical marijuana rules can face:

    • A fine of up to $500
    • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to 6 months
    • Both a fine and imprisonment

    If a violation of the medical marijuana rules is a criminal offense under Title 45 of Montana’s laws, it will be charged and prosecuted accordingly.

    Common Questions about the Montana Medical Marijuana Program

    Do you still have questions about the Montana Medical Marijuana Program? You may find your answer below.

    Does Montana have a medical marijuana program?

    Yes. Montana has a medical marijuana program, overseen by the Cannabis Control Division. The program issues medical marijuana cards to qualifying residents. Additionally, it maintains a confidential registry of individuals who receive medical cards.

    Is it hard to get a medical marijuana card in Montana?

    No. Getting a medical marijuana card in Montana is easy as long as you meet the criteria. You can even complete the entire application online from the comfort of your home. First, a Montana cannabis doctor must confirm that you have a qualifying condition by issuing a physician statement form. Then, you submit your application on the state’s online registry. That’s all it takes.

    How much medical marijuana can I buy in Montana?

    With a medical marijuana card, you can buy up to 1 ounce of usable marijuana daily and up to 5 ounces per month. If your medical condition requires more, you can petition for an increase in the monthly limit to 8 ounces.

    How much is a medical marijuana card in Montana?

    The state fee for a Montana medical marijuana card is $20, and a replacement card costs $10. However, you must pay for the doctor’s consultation and recommendation. Quick Med Cards offers the most affordable option in Montana. Our marijuana evaluation and certification costs range from $45 to $179.

    Can anyone go to a dispensary in Montana?

    Only adults above 21 and cardholders 18 and above can go to a dispensary in Montana and buy marijuana. Minors with medical cards may also visit Montana dispensaries in the company of their parent or legal guardian.

    How many recreational dispensaries are in Montana?

    There are about 379 licensed dispensaries in Montana. Some dispensaries sell both recreational and medical cannabis while others only sell medical marijuana.

    How much is an ounce of marijuana in Montana?

    The average price for an ounce of high-quality marijuana in Montana is around $266.13, while medium-quality marijuana averages $245.26​. The cost of an ounce can vary depending on the quality and location of the dispensary. It is worth noting that recreational marijuana is subject to a 20% state cannabis tax. Meanwhile, medical cannabis is only subject to a 4% tax.

    What is the tax on recreational marijuana in Montana?

    There is a 20% state tax on recreational marijuana in Montana. Additionally, depending on the county you reside in, there may be a local option tax rate, which can be up to a maximum of 3%. These local taxes are in addition to the state taxes.

    Can dispensaries deliver in Montana?

    Yes. Dispensaries in Montana can deliver medical marijuana to registered cardholders. That includes providing curbside service at the dispensary. However, recreational users cannot receive deliveries, even though they can order online.

    How do I get a medical card in Montana?

    You can get your Montana medical marijuana card online by following these steps:

    1. Book an appointment with one of our Montana medical marijuana doctors.

    2. Attend your online marijuana evaluation over a video call.

    3. Receive your complete and signed physician statement.

    4. Register on the Montana Medical Marijuana Registry (TransAction Portal).

    5. Complete the medical marijuana card registration.

    6. Pay the $20 fee for your Montana medical marijuana card.

    7. Print your Temporary medical marijuana card.

    8. Receive your medical marijuana card within 30 days.

    Quick Med Cards is the cheapest and fastest way to get your Montana medical card.

    Patient Resources and Forms

    How to Contact the Montana Cannabis Control Division

    State Agency: Montana Department of Revenue

    Phone: (406) 444-0596

    Fax: (406) 444-4110

    Email: DORCCD@mt.gov

    Mailing Address:

    Montana Department of Revenue
    Cannabis Control Division
    PO Box 5835
    Helena, MT 59604-5835

    Website: https://mtrevenue.gov/cannabis/