Once again, the medical cannabis industry in Montana stands at a crossroad poised to take a new direction. Over the past three legislative sessions, our Republican lawmakers have demonstrated their unwillingness to work with the cannabis industry toward fixing any of the problems associated with SB 423. Instead, they are forcing our industry into the court system by appealing Judge Reynolds’ decision to uphold the injunctions on the unconstitutional provisions of the law.
The Republican lawmakers are counting on the Montana Supreme Court to overturn Judge Reynolds’ permanent injunctions that allow our industry to continue serving cardholders with qualifying illnesses. That strategy wastes taxpayers’ money by tying up the Attorney General’s resources with appeals that could have been easily remedied by the legislature.
The appeal process will cost MTCIA a considerable amount of money to go forward with legal actions. An effort is in place to raise the money for the appeal process. The goal for fund-raising has not been met and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The State of Montana will submit their legal briefs on May 5. We must decide whether to ask our legal team to pursue the appeal or forfeit our legal challenge. If we do not choose to pursue the appeal, we will lose the challenge by default.
Regardless of the outcome of our legal challenge, our industry still needs to consider affecting a more workable medical cannabis law. The only way to achieve that outcome is through a new ballot initiative. MTCIA will announce a statewide meeting sometime in May as soon as arrangements can be made.
Yours in Solidarity,