HELENA – A bill to revamp regulation of medical marijuana in Montana heard plenty of opposition in its first hearing at the Legislature on Friday.
The bill from Senator Tom Jacobson (D-Great Falls) tightens up regulations on marijuana testing labs and says lab owners can’t have a financial interest in growing operations.
But they call the bill “a solution in search of a problem,” while supporters say it cleans up a lot of problems and directs the state on areas where regulation is lax.
It also creates a licensing system, so that smaller medical-marijuana providers pay minimal fees, and larger ones pay more.
CB Pearson, a medical-marijuana patient and organizer of the 2016 ballot measure that expanded the program, cautioned lawmakers about moving too quickly to change regulations.
“This particular bill…it’s too much too soon after last year’s major changes. The system needs a chance to work. If we need to tweak [an] aspect of that I think we should do that in a compassionate, consensus-oriented manner,” Pearson said.
The bill would make changes in a regulatory scheme just passed two years ago, in the wake of the 2016 ballot measure.