Medical Marijuana Licensing Rules Favor the Very Big and Very Small

Last week, rules in regards to the 2016 citizens initiative and the 2017 legislation, SB 333, were filed with the Secretary of State’s Office. The rules clearly need further development and it is our belief the department will continue to work on them. However, there are also serious issues with the rules which result in a break from what was structured by the laws passed by voters and the state legislature. In this post, we will discuss the issues with the [...]

By |February 5, 2018|News|

January Panel Update

This afternoon the MTCIA participated in a panel before the Children and Families Interim Committee. Legislative Services and DPHHS also gave presentations. DPHHS mentioned a few items that will be in the final rules (not a comprehensive report). They said the rules will be filed on January 30th. Some items they mentioned: - Random testing for Pesticides - METRC for a tracking system - Training on tracking system to be provided for providers beginning February 5th. - Eliminating the "no criminal history for [...]

By |January 18, 2018|info, News|

Cole Memo Rescinding

AG Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Cole memo. This has direct and immediate consequences for issues related to banking as the federal banking guidelines for cannabis businesses are based on the Cole memo. States with adult-use laws are now significantly more exposed to federal intervention as they are not covered by the Rorahbacher-Farr amendment. Medical states are also more vulnerable. So, what's going on? Does Sessions know Trump is getting rid of him so trying to get his shots in before [...]

By |January 5, 2018|info, News|

Regarding Montana Cannabis Industry Association

Ms. Goodhope, Thank you for your email on Dec. 7th, 2017, and the explanation with regard to your registering the Montana Cannabis Industry Association. The MTCIA has recently been exploring a change to our name as the result of the political atmosphere at the federal level, with the United States Attorney General clearly exhibiting a desire to see the medical and recreational cannabis industry in the United States either shut down or severely limited. A recent consequence of the federal government's [...]

By |December 8, 2017|News|

Medical marijuana decision hurts the sick, enriches criminals

An Editorial from the Montana Standard:   While some Montanans horrified at marijuana’s ubiquity in the state, and in today’s culture, may be celebrating, we find the state Supreme Court’s decision effectively gutting the voter-passed medical marijuana law regrettable. We certainly do not advocate the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, as has been done in Washington and Colorado. We also believe the ranks of the state’s medical-marijuana patients may have been swollen by overprescribing doctors. But cannabis indisputably has medical [...]

By |March 7, 2016|News, Uncategorized|

We Can Do It

The recent Supreme Court opinion is very unfortunate. It has caused a lot of anguish and debate. For some of us it is very personal, and for all of us it is very emotional.   Our resolve is going to be tested. As you know, the on-going legal battle is a reaction to sloppy and unacceptable work by the 2011 legislature to prohibit Montanans access to the medicine they need.   Now because of the actions of the Legislature many of the Montana’s [...]

By |March 2, 2016|News, Uncategorized|


Dear Members: As some of you are aware, we are still mired down in the legal battle to keep medical marijuana available for patients with debilitating illnesses in Montana. MTCIA has been at the forefront of this war since the 2011 legislature overturned the voter-passed ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for medical use in Montana. For the second time in 2 years our legal team is preparing to send arguments for permanent injunctions to the Montana Supreme Court. Those injunctions have allowed licensed medical marijuana [...]

By |August 11, 2015|News, Uncategorized|

The Countdown Begins

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS Dear Members: For those of you who were following the progress of the ballot initiative effort by Steve Zabawa to ban marijuana in Montana, there is good news. Mr. Zabawa's ballot initiative only garnered 3600 of the 24,000 signatures required to qualify for the ballot. The ballot initiative has failed. Mr. Zabawa has not given up on his misguided effort to deprive sick Montanans of legally-acquired medical marijuana. He has promised to take his initiative to the 2015 [...]

By |July 26, 2014|News, Uncategorized|

Donating to the Lawsuit Against SB423

The attached is a letter from the office Jim Goetz. It seems there is much confusion over whether or not our attorney can accept payments from other organizations outside of the MTCIA. This letter should help clear up that misconception. Donations for the lawsuit against SB423 and the state of Montana can only be submitted by the MTCIA or another named individual  plaintiffs in the case. Please keep this in mind when donating. The MTCIA wishes to extend a sincere thank you for the [...]

By |July 16, 2013|Lawsuit, News, Uncategorized|

Update on Funds Raised for Lawsuit – The Cash Hyde Foundation Presents American Drug War2

Dear Members: Last month I had the opportunity to meet several providers and cardholders from Butte and Kalispell. It was a very productive trip in terms of interacting with our colleagues in the medical cannabis community. We did collect donations for the Goetz legal fund from generous donors in both Butte and Kalispell. We still need approximately $30,000 to satisfy the escrow fund for our upcoming hearing scheduled for May of next year. We are actively shopping for professional lobbyists for [...]

By |July 6, 2013|Events, Lawsuit, News, Uncategorized|

President Mort Reid to Be in Butte June 12 & Kalispell June 13 for MTCIA Meetings & Updates

As most of you know in May the MTCIA elected a new president, Mort Reid.  There are several things that are going on at this point.  Mort Reid will be in Butte on Wednesday June 12th @ 7:00 p.m. at 709 Utah and in Kalispell Thursday June 13 @ 730pm at the VFW 330  1st Ave West All patients and providers are welcome to attend.  Mort will be discussing: - The state of the lawsuit - Funds raised. - Funds needed. [...]

By |June 10, 2013|Events, Lawsuit, News, Uncategorized|

A New Look for the Website

Hello everyone, just a quick note to let you all know that this website will be undergoing a remodel over the next few weeks. Changes to design and functionality will be implemented as seamlessly as possible. The site should not experience any down time, but some features will not be fully functional at times. Things you can expect to see are as follows: Change in the look and feel of the site. New responsive layout that will accommodate all mobile devices [...]

By |April 11, 2013|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Comments on U.S. Attorney Guidelines for Federal Raids

There are guidelines for federal marijuana prosecutions? Apparently so. This is good news as many medical cannabis businesses are eager to comply with the rules that they are informed of. Cal NORML has obtained a February 2011 memo outlining the California U.S. Attorneys’ guidelines for federal medical marijuana prosecutions in California. As U.S. Attorneys get their marching orders from the federal government, one would hope that federal policy in California isn’t different than federal policy in Montana. If that is so, does [...]

By |November 27, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Comments on This Week’s Raids

Federal raids have again shut down Montana medical marijuana dispensing centers. Hundreds of patients are now added to the list of the 19,000 patients without providers.  These patients of raided providers have 10 days to tell the state who their new provider is.  But provider numbers have dropped from 4000 to 400 since May and now many providers have waiting lists. Many believe that being “big” will make them a target for the feds (and they’re probably right) and so do [...]

By |November 18, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA News & Update

First, a reminder: When patients send in their paperwork, they need to include the paperwork from their doctors and the paperwork from their providers. Be sure a copy of your driver’s license is included in the paperwork. Another reminder: The legislature successfully overrode the will of Missoula voters by overturning their lowest priority ordinance for cannabis-related misdemeanors. Please keep in mind that this change has occurred and there may be people who are very happy about that, perhaps even, enthusiastic. Be [...]

By |October 23, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Reports on Hearing of Montana Caregiver on Issue of Admissible Evidence

The hearing for Richard and Justin Flor to determine what would, or would not, be admissible evidence was scheduled for this morning in Helena in federal court. At this hearing, Judge Lovell was expected to rule on whether the fact that Montana state law allows for medical cannabis would be admissible in federal court, or whether the Flor trial would move forward as though the Flors’ medical cannabis business was a black market operation in a state without medical marijuana laws. [...]

By |October 13, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA News & Update

Montana medical cannabis providers were required to submit their fingerprints to DPHHS by October 1, a requirement that concerned many. Ninety-three providers have dropped off the provider registry as a result of this requirement, most by choice, a few due to technical problems with their submission. With the number of providers down near a mere 300 and patient numbers in the 25,000 range, and more than 19,000 patients without providers, it is clear that many patients have had to resort to [...]

By |October 10, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Applauds Attorney General Bullock’s Response to ATF Memo

The Montana Attorney General has issued a response to the memo by the ATF that rescinded 2nd amendment rights for medical cannabis patients. Below is an excerpt from Attorney General Bullock’s letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder: “Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. More than 90 million people live in these jurisdictions, comprising 29.2% of the total population of the United States. In our federal system [...]

By |October 3, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Thanks Congressional Delegation & Looks Forward to More Dialogue

The MTCIA would like to thank the Montana delegation for standing up for the 2nd amendment rights of the citizens of Montana who use medical marijuana. We greatly appreciate your recognizing and objecting to the trampling of Montanans’ and Americans’ 2nd amendment rights.  We hope our delegation can continue to participate in the conversation here in Montana about the ways in which federal drug policies have trampled on citizens’ rights. In Montana, peoples’ lives have been saved, their health improved or [...]

By |September 30, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Shocked by Memo Suspending Gun Rights for Medical Cannabis Patients

(from Chris Lindsey) The MTCIA was shocked to receive a memo written by the Department of Justice addressed to individuals and companies who sell firearms.  The memo states in no uncertain terms that according to the Department of Justice, it is illegal for people who are listed as medical marijuana patients to own a gun or ammo. Thus, with a stroke of a pen, the Department of Justice has suspended the 2nd Amendment for those use medical cannabis. In fact, the [...]

By |September 26, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Update on Fingerprint Requirement

SB423 includes no shortage of offensive requirements for medical marijuana program participants.  Of recent concern is the requirement that providers submit their fingerprints to the FBI and US Department of Justice and, in effect, risk self-incrimination despite the guarantees in the US and Montana Constitutions.  The MTCIA has been consulting with attorneys and DPHHS in search of a solution.  We explored the prospect of legal action as well as changes to the administrative process to avoid identification of providers. Under the [...]

By |September 15, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Important Information from the MTCIA Regarding the Fingerprinting Requirement in SB 423

Many providers have received fingerprint kits in the mail. The new law requires that all providers submit fingerprints by Oct 1. But once again, poor crafting in the new law is resulting in procedural complications in some counties. Given that fingerprints are run against a federal database, the provision also raises 5th amendment concerns (the right to not self-incriminate) given that the federal government does not recognize the medical use and distribution of marijuana. The MTCIA is in discussions with DPHHS [...]

By |September 13, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Testifies at Hearing on the Administrative Rules for SB 423

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services held the hearing on the rules in regards to the administration of SB 423. The Department will respond in writing to all the official hearing comments and other written comments received in the legal office. The Department will publish whether they agree, or disagree, with the comments received and will make the changes or edits to the rule as appropriate. The MTCIA submitted the following concerns: 1. We ask for confirmation that any [...]

By |August 31, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA: Lawsuit Expenditures, the Referendum, & Update

First, let’s answer some questions. We’ve been asked how much has been paid to the Goetz law firm. The answer: $90,000. Our outstanding bill is $60,674.72. We intend to send the Goetz law firm $5000 this week. We apologize for any delays in answering. Several board members were on the road . Our treasurer is out of the country so we need to contact the accountant to validate our information. Each time we contact the accountant, it costs us money.  But we appreciate [...]

By |August 23, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Progress Report

Wish we were in the homestretch but, as they say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Our friends in Billings face challenges again. Yellowstone County has banned storefronts, effective immediately. Yet the work goes on. Thanks to all those who have been responding to the need to support the efforts in Montana to protect access and promote the truth about cannabis and its applications. Good news includes:  · A $1000 donation from a Kalispell business · A pledge for $1000 from [...]

By |August 17, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

An Urgent Message from the MTCIA

We need at least 1,000 people to donate $25 to $50, and we need  at least 50 storefronts to donate at least $1000 THIS WEEK.  Here is how we will use your support : 45%  will go to paying for the lawsuit, 45% will go to the referendum campaign, and 10% will go to the MTCIA to continue their work.  Is legal access to cannabis worth writing a check for, or raising, just $25 to $50? The question is not rhetorical. [...]

By |August 15, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Will Answer State’s Appeal of Reynolds’ Ruling

The state of Montana is appealing Judge Reynolds’ temporary injunction against portions of the medical marijuana law. The timing is such that we’d be entering those deliberations in October or November. The state is lining it up, ready to be in place should we fail to get the signatures needed to suspend the law. If the number of signatures to suspend the law do get secured, it’s unlikely the state’s appeal would go forward. After all, how many times can elected [...]

By |August 14, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA: Strategizing for the Next Stretch of Road

About 11,000 signatures for the referendum to put SB 423 on the 2012 ballot have been collected. To get the 15% needed to suspend the law as well as get it on the ballot, we need to collect about 1000 signatures a day between now and September 30.  The signatures are out there. The only question is whether or not we have the resources in people, dollars, and energy to secure them. Go here for places where you can sign the [...]

By |August 3, 2011|Events, News, Uncategorized|

Marijuana Aid a Time for Friends & Challenges in the Bitterroot

More tickets were sold than bodies showed for Marijuana Aid 2012. Yet it was still a perfect occasion on a pristine Montana summer day and night. Ryan Creek Meadows is a spectacular music venue and the music for the event was top shelf. Thanks to all those bands and dj’s who donated their time and talents.  A special thanks to Greta Gaines, singer, musician, and activist who flew in from Tennessee to perform. Backed up by band member Eric Fitsch, she [...]

By |July 25, 2011|Events, News, Uncategorized|

Patients for Reform, Not Repeal Press Conference Today, & Other News

Today, Patients for Reform, Not Repeal are rolling out their campaign. A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Capitol. Signature gatherers are already on the streets. Make sure to sign and watch the news tonight for press conference coverage. In other news, medical cannabis providers in Billings are suing the city over the ban on cannabis storefronts. The ban was made by emergency ordinance. “The lawsuit alleges that there was no emergency as defined by city codes…emergencies are [...]

By |July 19, 2011|Events, News, Uncategorized|

Important Information for Providers from the MTCIA

Many have asked the question: Does the paperwork I turned in to become a provider cover me legally to do business until my provider card arrives? According to the letter of the law, the answer is no. Caregivers no longer exist and until you get your provider card from the state, according to the letter of the law, you are not a provider. The only protection you would have is an intent to be in compliance. So while it would be [...]

By |July 13, 2011|News, Uncategorized|


Urgent Update: Get your patients to fill out the form to make you a provider NOW. The judge’s opinion regarding the injunction against SB 423 preserves the right for patients to obtain their cannabis from professional growers rather than having to grow it themselves or find someone who will grow it for them for free. However, there’s a glitch. A part of the law that goes into effect tomorrow requires that if you are providing medical marijuana to patients YOU MUST [...]

By |June 30, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

The Petition is Ready – Now Hold Your Horses

Originally from the Montana NORML blog: Great news: Montana’s Attorney General and Secretary of State have approved the petition to block SB-423 and refer it to a vote of the people in 2012. Signature gathering will not begin immediately. A few years back, the process of collecting signatures became a lot more complicated (28-page PDF). For example: Signature gatherers must be Montana residents Signature gatherers may not be paid anything of value based on the number of signatures gathered Each printed [...]

By |June 30, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Thank You Missoula, Butte, & Now We Wait on Injunction

Many thanks go out to those who organized the Missoula MTCIA fundraiser. Special thanks to Rose Habib for on-the-ground organizing, and to Terry Betschart and Gabe McMurray for their donation of silent auction items. We also received the anonymous donation of a grow tent for auction. (MTCIA board member Ed Docter did a pretty hilarious job in the role of auctioneer). Thank you out there, anonymous one. Belated thanks to Butte, too, who by all accounts put together a Butte-style, rock [...]

By |June 24, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Final Day of Hearing on SB 423 Injunction

There’s what’s going on in the courtroom and there is also a lot of documents submitted to the judge from both sides that are part of the case. Reading material, you might say. I believe the judge will read them. All of it factors into Judge Reynolds’ opinion. The feeling in the air is that the severability issue will come into play with this court decision. Some provisions of SB 423 will be allowed to go into effect, some won’t. But [...]

By |June 22, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

SB 423: Let the Law be on Trial, Not Us

Crazy assertions today in the Bozeman Chronicle, huh? Is this what public discourse has come to, just making things up and having reporters relay it to the community without question?  The article reported that crime has increased in 78 percent of the state’s jurisdictions since medical marijuana became legal in Montana.  A report published by the Montana Board of Crime Control says the crime rate is at the lowest in 32 years. For accurate stats on crime in Montana, click here. [...]

By |June 16, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Holds Successful Events in Bozeman and Helena, Kalispell Next

Supporters of voters’ rights, patients, economic justice, and common sense gathered in two communities this weekend at MTCIA fundraisers and mixers. Friday night in Bozeman, diverse voices addressed the group, including Bozeman mayor, Jeff Krauss, who expressed his dismay at the state legislature dismantling their local medical cannabis regulation system. Bozeman figured out how to make medical marijuana work in their community. Too bad the state refused to learn from them. Jim Gingery of the Montana Medical Growers Association (MMGA) addressed [...]

By |June 6, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

SB423 Referendum Petition Update

As most of you now know, the language for the referendum to stop SB 423 from going into effect must be approved by the Secretary of State, Montana Legislative Services, and the Attorney General’s Office. The Secretary of State had approved the language and sent the petition on to Legislative Services. As a result of its review, Legislative Services has returned the language to the MTCIA with their concerns, which was an expected and anticipated part of the process. Not only [...]

By |May 28, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Montana Medical Marijuana Advocates Slam Sen. Essmann’s Editorial as Fantasy

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA) responded today to an editorial in the Billings Gazette by Senator Jeff Essman. In it, Essman said it was “marijuana millionaires” behind the challenge to the new medical marijuana law that dismantles marijuana businesses and requires cannabis patients to secure marijuana through a person who will provide it for free. “Senator Essman is backed by millions of dollars provided by the interests of pharmaceutical companies and private prisons,” said MTCIA board member, Kate Cholewa. “He’s [...]

By |May 26, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

SB 423 Lawsuit Update, Timeline

In the last 24 hours: Our attorneys requested and received a change of judge. Judge Reynolds will now decide the case. The advertising ban restraining order hearing was combined with the main complaint. So, it is in effect at least until the hearing. The schedule was settled; the hearing will last two days, June 20th and 21st. Funds are needed to continue the legal fight. Please donate today by clicking the donate button on our website, or sending a check to: [...]

By |May 25, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Thank You, Billings

Over 100 Montanans from Billings and the surrounding area attended an MTCIA mixer and fundraiser tonight. Energy was high as the crowd learned from MTCIA board members about how we got here, what's happening next with the lawsuit and petition campaign, and how much help is still needed. Over $9000 was raised to support the MTCIA's work to prevent SB 423 from full implementation. It is estimated that the lawsuit alone could generate over $200,000 in legal expenses. Upcoming events in [...]

By |May 22, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

SB 423 Medical Marijuana Lawsuit – Next Steps

Many people have been asking us what to expect from the lawsuit. Here is a brief timeline of upcoming steps in the process: On Monday, May 23rd, a telephone conference between the judge, the state, and our side will discuss scheduling. On the table is whether to deal with the advertising ban restraining order at the same time the main complaint, or separate from it.  If the issues are to be heard separately, the advertising ban hearing will be on Friday [...]

By |May 21, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Welcomes Sen. Wanzenried at Missoula Event

Wind was banging on the vendors' awnings at Caras Park in Missoula. Around 200 people showed up for the MTCIA cannabis information event. It was a good news night. We got our restraining order. The ban on advertising is a no-go. Keep up your signs and the constitution gets another night's sleep. Three elected officials addressed the crowd. Missoula city council member Cynthia Wolken who is currently running for city council said it's time to tax and regulate. Missoula Representative Ellie [...]

By |May 14, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Restraining Order Approved – Advertising Is Still Legal

We've just been informed that a judge signed our attorney's request for a temporary restraining order. We have succeeded in delaying implementation and enforcement of Section 20 of SB 423, which completely prohibited all forms of advertising of marijuana and marijuana-related products and was scheduled to go into effect at midnight tonight. A followup hearing is scheduled later this month.

By |May 13, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Acknowledging Challenges And Moving On

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association accepted Nathan Pierce's resignation on May 6 upon learning that he had unresolved legal issues previously thought to be dismissed. The action was immediate in order not to distract from the collective mission to protect the medical cannabis program in Montana and stop the devastation that would be caused by SB 423. Pierce used skills he cultivated with the Builders' Association to create association documents such as bylaws and articles of incorporation back in February. After [...]

By |May 13, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Referendum Proposal Submitted to Secretary of State to Allow Voters to Judge Legislature’s Marijuana “Repeal in Disguise”

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA) has submitted to the Secretary of State a referendum proposal to give voters an opportunity to judge the Legislature’s medical marijuana “repeal in disguise,” the group announced. If enough voters sign an approved petition, SB 423 will appear on the 2012 general election ballot for voters to either reject or endorse.  A sufficient number of petition signatures would nullify SB 423 in the meantime, MTCIA reported. “Montana voters are rightly offended by the Legislature’s actions [...]

By |May 13, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

MTCIA Attorney Moves to Block SB 423 Advertising Ban

In the interest of our members, MTCIA attorney James Goetz has delivered a letter to the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting an agreement that the state of Montana refrain from enforcing the advertising ban in SB 423 until the implementation date of other provisions of the bill, June 30. Goetz has requested a response from the DOJ by noon tomorrow, Thursday, May 12. If the state does not agree to refrain from enforcing the ban on advertising, Goetz immediately will [...]

By |May 11, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Enormous Statewide Support for Medical Marijuana Patients, And Against SB 423

Emphasizing that they are overwhelmed by the statewide outpouring of support from patients and their friends and caregivers over the past few days, the leaders of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MTCIA) today announced they have hired Bozeman attorney Jim Goetz to help them fight for patients’ rights if SB 423 takes effect later this week. “The people of Montana aren’t going to take the decimation of Montana’s medical marijuana law lying down,” said Kate Cholewa, MTCIA Board member.  “And people [...]

By |May 10, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Montana Cannabis Industry Association Launches Unified Defense Against SB 423

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED, TODAY! We’ve got a short time frame to do it, but we must stop SB 423 from being implemented and destroying access to medical cannabis in Montana. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MCIA) will secure the services of attorney Jim Goetz of Bozeman who has experience with cannabis cases and experience winning a constitutional case in the United States Supreme Court. He’s a “big gun.” When Montanans see his name, they’ll know we are serious and we [...]

By |May 5, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

Montana Cannabis Industry Association Opposes SB 423

The newly formed Montana Cannabis Industry Association today announced its opposition to a revised medical marijuana bill that Governor Schweitzer has announced he will allow to become law. “The medical marijuana law passed by the Montana legislature attacks the state’s citizens at the most basic level – their health and their livelihoods. We’re greatly disappointed that Governor Schweitzer will allow this farce of medical marijuana regulations to go into effect,” said Nathan Pierce of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association (MCIA). “We’d [...]

By |April 30, 2011|News, Uncategorized|

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