US (MT): A surprise ban on CBD products angers licensee holders

The Montana Department of Revenue and cannabis industry stakeholders alike were surprised to recently discover that HB 701, the state’s legalization framework bill, prohibits license holders from growing or selling hemp, and by extension, from producing cannabidiol or CBD products that are derived from hemp. The ban additionally prohibits license holders from selling any other brand’s CBD wares. 

“Frankly, I feel like we stumbled upon it. It wasn’t on our radar at all,” said Kristan Barbour, administrator of the Department of Revenue’s Cannabis Control Division.

The ban goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022, the same day adult-use cannabis sales begin in Montana. Current dispensaries must liquidate their CBD inventory by that date.

The ban has angered and confused many dispensary owners. Some are strategizing potential workarounds to continue selling the products, while others are making plans to drop CBD completely. The ban poses an additional challenge to customers who will no longer be able to purchase CBD products from the businesses that are most familiar with the compound, its effects, and product testing regimens

“It’s one of the ridiculous things that slipped through the cracks of HB 701,” said Pepper Petersen, president and CEO of the industry association Montana Cannabis Guild. “I think it’s absurd.”

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