BILLINGS – Montana became one of the states that passed a law providing a medical marijuana program for its residents back in 2004.
Since then there has been a lot of challenges and revisions to this law, the most recent change being in 2017– when the state legislature passed Senate Bill 333. The revision of the Montana Medical Marijuana Act required seed-to-sale tracking system and licensing of dispensaries and endorsements for chemical manufacturing.
All marijuana dispensaries are now required to use Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance (METRIC) — an online tracking system.
“Here at Mac, we strive to create a community of patients putting health, safety, and wellness first,” said Josh Thill with Mac General. “This is an established system that came from recreational states. It was something that was already in place that Montana chose to adopt.”
“A testing facility sends somebody to pick up your samples. I have a tag that is on the plant through its whole life. When you harvest it, you weigh the plant in its entirety. “You weigh the stems out of it, you weigh the trim off of it, you weight the product off of it when it’s dry. When that product is ready to be tested, it has a tag on it and they come and take a random sample,” Thill added.
“Anytime any marijuana is moved in the system, it has to be tracked and manifested. When that sample leaves, it leaves with an individual on a manifest, the amount is manifested,” he continued. “There’s a tracking tag with it, the root is on the manifest that they plan on taking, the estimated time of arrival, the vehicle description, the vehicle plate, the driver’s license number, as well as your badge number is all included on there. So it has created a ton of accountability for anything leaving the building.”
“Anybody in the industry who is interested in moving forward and having a good viable program, this is a very positive thing. Anybody who is trying to be in the industry for any kind of negative thing, they’re gonna hate it, this creates accountability,” Thill concluded.
Montana has collected $1.8 million in taxes with marijuana sales since 2017.
-Marcus Boyer reporting for MTN News