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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Lawmakers push back against proposed recreational pot rules as deadlines near

Cannabis in jars.

Montana lawmakers are pausing the state’s rulemaking process for the new recreational marijuana industry slated to come online January 1. There is bipartisan concern that the state isn’t following legislators' intent for the policy.

Lawmakers last session passed a massive policy to guide regulation and taxation of recreational marijuana, which voters made legal more than a year ago. It’s now the state department of revenue’s job to carry out that policy through rulemaking, but Republicans and Democrats on the Economic Affairs Interim Committee agree those rules need amending.

Lawmakers and business owners have concerns over restrictions on tribal licenses and the state's plan to take responsibility for workforce training — something that isn't happening in other industries.

The department must send rules for the new industry to the Montana Secretary of State’s office early next week. Lawmakers are hoping to resolve the issues with the department during a December 13 meeting before that happens.

More information on the Economic Affairs Interim Committee meeting scheduled for December 13 at 2 p.m. can be found at

Shaylee began covering state government and politics for Montana Public Radio in August 2020. Originally from Belgrade, Montana, she graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program and previously worked as a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and UM’s Legislative News Service. Please share tips, questions and concerns by emailing 
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