BOZEMAN — Recreational use of marijuana was approved by voters in November 2020 but there hasn’t been a single legal sale yet in Montana.
“For us, it’s going to mean a whole, a new bunch of clientele coming in. We’re looking at offering a ton of new products and ramping up production to meet what we’re anticipating is a higher demand,” explained Ryan Saghatelian, one of the owners of Greener Pastures.
Originally, under I-190 recreational sales would have started in October of this year, but the date was pushed back until January 1, 2022.
“We have to wait and see what all the legislation going to be coming through in the next couple of months. Right now, Montana changes a lot of stuff up on you. Kind of keeps you on your toes a little bit. There’s still so much that’s up in the air and can change,” said Mack Ethington with Wild West Wellness.
Some are anticipating the change, but some are not.
“Not excited about it. I think it’s a federal, illegal drug for a reason. They have a lot of negative side effects that people aren’t aware of, and I’m not a big component of that. We’re a component of pristine, happy, productive families,” explained Wrong for Montana and Safe Montana founder Steve Zabawa.
There still will be a difference between medical versus recreational purposes after Jan. 1.
“Right now the medical market is paying four percent in sales tax and once January 1st comes if you do not have a medical card and you choose to shop at an adult-use dispensary it’s going to be a 20% tax, so you’d be saving 16% still having a medical card,” Saghatelian said.
Among other differences, which a lot of the public does not seem to be informed on yet.
“No one really is, and it’s totally fair. I mean it makes sense. Legislation is incredibly complicated, and so most people when they hear 'Oh Montana passed recreational weed' they go 'great I can go buy weed now,'” explained Ethington.
But as we know, that’s not the case.
Again, legally dispensaries cannot begin selling cannabis without that medical card until January 1st, 2022. For more information, visit here.