2017 Montana Legislature
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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36
INTRODUCED BY S. GUNDERSON
A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING AN INTERIM STUDY OF MONTANA'S MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS AND REGULATORY SYSTEM; AND REQUIRING THAT THE FINAL RESULTS OF THE STUDY BE REPORTED TO THE 66TH LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, the 2011 Montana Legislature enacted restrictions on the state's medical marijuana registry program; and
WHEREAS, portions of the 2011 law were on hold during a 5-year legal challenge; and
WHEREAS, the Montana Supreme Court upheld most of the challenged provisions in 2016, including a provision limiting marijuana and marijuana-infused products providers to growing or manufacturing marijuana for a maximum of three individuals; and
WHEREAS, Montana voters approved Initiative Measure No. 182 in November 2016; and
WHEREAS, the initiative lifted the limit on the number of people to whom a provider may provide marijuana, allowed for sale of marijuana at dispensaries, and authorized testing laboratories; and
WHEREAS, the changes in the state's medical marijuana laws are likely to result in changes that could affect Montana's communities, law enforcement agencies, state agencies, and individuals with debilitating medical conditions; and
WHEREAS, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the American Herbal Products Association have developed qualitative standards for the use of marijuana as a botanical medicine; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has long noted that states may operate as "laboratories of democracy" in the development of innovative public policies; and
WHEREAS, 29 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws allowing for medical marijuana use; and
WHEREAS, 16 additional states have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of therapeutic compounds extracted from the marijuana plant; and
WHEREAS, more than 20 years of state-level experimentation provides a guide for state and federal law and policy related to the medical use of marijuana.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee, pursuant to section 5-5-217, MCA, to review the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and determine whether additional state regulation of the medical marijuana program is necessary.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee:
(1) consider topics related to producing an adequate supply of marijuana for registered cardholders, including but not limited to the amount and type of marijuana that constitutes an adequate supply for a registered cardholder and the methods of determining the number of plants that will provide that supply;
(2) review methods for tracking the amount of marijuana cultivated, manufactured, and distributed as a part of the medical marijuana program to ensure that the marijuana is not diverted into the illicit market, including but not limited to review of both paper and electronic recordkeeping methods;
(3) review quality control issues, including but not limited to product testing, packaging, and labeling;
(4) review the requirements for registered cardholders and for persons who grow, manufacture, test, and sell marijuana, including but not limited to the use of marijuana by minors and the licensing requirements for providers, marijuana-infused products providers, dispensaries, testing laboratories, and their employees;
(5) evaluate the current distribution system and alternatives to the current system, including but not limited to the use of dispensaries and the requirement that cardholders must formally assign providers through the Department of Public Health and Human Services;
(6) review funding of the current program as well as the potential costs of an expanded regulatory system, if recommended, including but not limited to whether the program should be funded with fees or taxes and whether it should be revenue neutral or should generate revenue;
(7) examine the effects of medical marijuana businesses on local government, law enforcement, and schools, including but not limited to ways to mitigate actual or potential effects through regulations, incentives, or other means; and
(8) review experiences in other states that regulate medical marijuana to determine whether those experiences could inform proposals for Montana's medical marijuana program.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study include the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Agriculture, registered cardholders, licensed providers and testing laboratories, physicians with a demonstrated knowledge of the use of marijuana to treat debilitating medical conditions, and representatives of local government, law enforcement, schools, and other interested parties.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all aspects of the study, including presentation and review requirements, be concluded prior to September 15, 2018.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the final results of the study, including any findings, conclusions, comments, or recommendations of the appropriate committee, be reported to the 66th Legislature.
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