On Thursday, one day after an impassioned hearing on Senate Bill 546, the Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee voted 6-4 to table the bill.
SB 546, sponsored by Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, would have dramatically altered and essentially dismantled the state’s marijuana industry. It primarily sought to eliminate all adult-use dispensaries in Montana. Furthermore, it would have raised the state tax on medical marijuana from 4% to 20% and put significant limits on medical marijuana potency and allowable amounts for possession. While the bill prohibited non-medical marijuana sales, it did not re-criminalize marijuana possession for adults. It also halved the number of plants an adult can grow at home from two mature plants to one.
On Thursday, three Republican committee members — Senate President Jason Ellsworth, Committee Chair Jason Small, and Sen. Walt Sales — joined with all three Democratic members to oppose the bill. The committee subsequently tabled the bill unanimously.
During Wednesday’s hearing and Thursday’s committee meeting, proponents of the bill highlighted their concerns with marijuana potency and youth access.
SB 546 would have lowered the allowable amount of the active compound THC from 35% to 10% in medical marijuana flower and banned medical marijuana concentrates containing more than 10% THC.
Read more at montanafreepress.org