Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 5. Regulation of Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine

Electronic Recordkeeping And Monitoring System

50-32-503. Electronic recordkeeping and monitoring system. (1) The department of justice shall provide for the state's participation in a real-time electronic recordkeeping and monitoring system for the sale of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The system must:

(a) be approved by the department of justice and provided at no charge to the state, law enforcement, or participating pharmacies and certified retail establishments;

(b) provide at no charge to participating pharmacies and certified retail establishments appropriate training, 24-hour online support, and a toll-free telephone help line that is staffed 24 hours a day;

(c) be able to communicate in real time with similar systems operated in other states and the District of Columbia and similar systems containing information submitted by more than one state;

(d) comply with information exchange standards adopted by the national information exchange model;

(e) include a stop sales alert that:

(i) provides notification that completion of a sale would result in the purchaser violating the quantity limits set forth in this part;

(ii) includes an override function that may be used by a pharmacy or certified retail establishment under the circumstances set forth in subsection (2); and

(iii) records each instance in which the override function is utilized;

(f) record the following:

(i) the date and time of a transaction;

(ii) the name, address, date of birth, and photo identification number of the purchaser, the type of identification used, and the issuing governmental entity;

(iii) the number of packages purchased, the total number of grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine per package, and the name of the compound, mixture, or preparation containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine; and

(iv) the signature of the purchaser or a unique number connecting the transaction to a paper signature retained at the retail premises;

(g) ensure that submitted data is retained within the system for at least 2 years from the date of submission; and

(h) be accessible by law enforcement.

(2) (a) A pharmacy or certified retail establishment may not complete a sale if the system generates a stop sales alert unless the individual dispensing the ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or related compound has a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm if the sale is not completed.

(b) In the event of a mechanical or electronic interruption of the system, the pharmacy or certified retail establishment shall maintain a written log of sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine until the system is restored. The information written in the log must be transmitted to the system as soon as practicable after the system is restored.

(3) The following entities may not be required to participate in the electronic system and may not be required to maintain a written log:

(a) licensed manufacturers that manufacture and lawfully distribute products in the channels of commerce;

(b) wholesalers that lawfully distribute products in the channels of commerce;

(c) inpatient pharmacies of health care facilities licensed in this state;

(d) licensed long-term health care facilities;

(e) government-operated health care clinics, departments, or centers;

(f) physicians who dispense drugs pursuant to state law;

(g) pharmacies located in correctional facilities; and

(h) government-operated or industry-operated medical facilities serving the employees of the state or local or federal government.

(4) The department of justice, a law enforcement agency of the state, or a federal agency conducting a criminal investigation involving the manufacture of methamphetamine consistent with state or federal law may access data, records, and reports regarding the sale of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. In addition, the information may be accessed if relevant to proceedings in a court, investigatory grand jury, or special grand jury.

(5) All data, records, and reports related to the sale of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to retail customers and any abstracts of the data, records, and reports that are in the possession of the department of justice pursuant to this section are confidential and exempt from disclosure under Title 2, chapter 6.

(6) An entity operating the system or a pharmacy or certified retail establishment that sells a product containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine may not use or disclose information collected or contained in the system or a written log for any purpose other than to:

(a) ensure compliance with this section or the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, Public Law 109-177;

(b) comply with the United States government or its political subdivision for law enforcement purposes under state or federal law; or

(c) facilitate a product recall necessary to protect the public health and safety.

(7) (a) A pharmacy or certified retail establishment that releases in good faith confidential information to federal, state, or local law enforcement or to a person acting on the behalf of law enforcement or that utilizes the system in accordance with this section is immune from civil liability for the release of the information or for acts or omissions in utilizing the system under this section unless the release or the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or intentional, wanton, or willful misconduct.

(b) The civil immunity provisions of subsection (7)(a) do not apply to a person employed by or an entity operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 251, L. 2015.