US (MT): MMJ patients brace for shortages as recreational market opens

More than a year after voters approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Montana, anyone older than 21 can now walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis. Other states have had shortages soon after their recreational marijuana markets opened. In January 2020, when recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois, some dispensaries had to close their doors or impose limits on purchases. The same thing happened in Colorado and Washington when the recreational market opened in those states. 

Pepper Petersen president and CEO of the Montana Cannabis Guild and a medical marijuana provider in Helena, said he’s been telling his patients to stock up because he thinks the state’s dispensaries will run out in the short term.

“We are going to have cannabis shortages. Access will be a problem until supply can catch up with demand,” Petersen said. “How can we produce enough product for thousands of new users in January? The answer is we can’t.”

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