If you are a resident of Montana, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the local laws in order to dodge harsh penalties. Medical marijuana is well established in the state, and small amounts of possession are decriminalized in certain areas.
Montana allows marijuana for medical use, but any other possession, sale, delivery, or cultivation of the drug is treated as a crime. Concentrates come with harsher penalties than other types of cannabis, and paraphernalia is also banned. Penalties for low-level offenders are relatively light, but other crimes may carry severe penalties.
Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Montana as long as the amount is less than 60 grams (a little more than two ounces). For a first-time offender, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a fine of $500. On a subsequent conviction, the top sentence increases to three years in prison and $1,000 in fines.
If the amount is greater than 60 grams, the offense is a felony and is punishable by as many as five years in prison and as much as $50,000 in fines. Possession of any amount with intent to distribute it carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
Sale or Delivery
Sale or delivery of any amount of cannabis, with or without compensation, is a felony punishable by a minimum sentence of one year in jail and a maximum of life in prison, plus a top $50,000 fine. Sale or delivery of any amount from an adult to a minor carries an additional mandatory two-year sentence.
If the sale or delivery occurs within 1,000 feet of school grounds, the charge is a felony with a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum of life, as well as up to $50,000 in fines.
It is a felony to grow any marijuana plants in Montana outside the state’s medical marijuana system. If the grower cultivates less than one pound of cannabis or 30 plants, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines on a first offense.
When the amount of cannabis cultivated is more than one pound or 30 plants, the prison term increases to between two years and life. Both the maximum prison term and the maximum fine double on second and subsequent convictions.
Hash and Concentrates
Penalties for possession or manufacture of marijuana concentrates are harsher than those for bud. Possession of one gram or less is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500 on a first offense. On subsequent offenses, the maximum possible prison sentence increases to three years, while fines can be as much as $1,000.
Possession of more than one gram is a felony and carries a top punishment of five years in prison and $1,000 in fines. Manufacture of hashish or other concentrates can be punished by up to 10 years in prison and $50,000. Sale of concentrates or possession with intent to sell them are both treated the same as regular marijuana sale or delivery.
It is a misdemeanor to possess, make, sell, or deliver any kind of drug paraphernalia unless it is marketed, sold, and used only for legal purposes, such as tobacco smoking. The top penalty is six months in jail and $500 in fines. Delivery or sale of cannabis paraphernalia to a minor under age 18 by an adult who is at least three years older is also a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Marijuana paraphernalia in Montana includes any items intended for use in the cultivation, harvesting, processing, analyzing, testing, storing, or consumption of marijuana.
Montana voters legalized the medicinal use of cannabis by a wide margin in Nov, 2004.
Qualifying conditions –
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
Patient possession limits – One ounce
Home cultivation – Yes. Four mature plants are allowed, as well as four seedlings and the amount of usable marijuana allowed by the department of rule.
State-licensed dispensaries – Yes. Licensed medical marijuana providers are permitted to serve more than three patients at a time.
Caregivers – Yes. Caregivers are not permitted to provide for more than two patients at a time (or three, if the caregiver is also a patient)
Reciprocity – No
|60g or less(first offense)||Misdemeanor||6 months||$ 500|
|60g or less(second offense)||Misdemeanor||3 years||$ 1,000|
|More than 60g||Felony||5 years||$ 50,000|
With intent to distribute
|Any amount||Felony||20 years||$ 50,000|
Sale or Delivery
|Any amount with or without compensation||Felony||1 year* – life||$ 50,000|
|From an adult to a minor||Felony||2 years*||$ 50,000|
|Within 1000 feet of school grounds||Felony||3 years* – life||$ 50,000|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
|1 lb or less or 30 plants or less||Felony||10 years||$ 50,000|
|More than 1 lb or more than 30 plants||Felony||2 years – life||$ 50,000|
|Second or subsequent offense is punishable by twice the term of imprisonment and twice the authorized fine.|
Hash & Concentrates
|Possession of 1 gram or less (first offense)||Misdemeanor||6 months||$ 500|
|Possession of 1 gram or less (subsequent offense)||Misdemeanor||3 years||$ 1,000|
|Possession of more than 1 g||Felony||5 years||$ 1,000|
|Manufacture||Felony||10 years||$ 50,000|
|Penalties for the sale or possession with the intent to sell hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.|
|Possession, manufacture, or delivery of paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||6 months||$ 500|
|To a person under 18 who is at least 3 years younger||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
Civil Asset Forfeiture
|Vehicles and other property may be seized.|
|Use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture||Felony||10 years||N/A|
|Continuing criminal enterprise results is a felony punishable by double or triple fine and imprisonment.|
|Possession of marijuana on a train results in additional penalties.|
|Storing marijuana results in additional fines.|
|Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor must attend a mandatory drug education course.|
|Imprisonment for felonies may be eligible for suspended or deferred imposition, which may include commitment to a drug treatment facility, community service, or driver’s license revocations.|